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Huge student accommodation complex to inject life into CBD

23 June 2022 2:12 PM
Tags:
Cape Town CBD
Student accomodation
Train station
Eris Property Group

Lester Kiewit spoke to Johan van Vuuren - executive head of student accommodation at the Eris Property Group.

-Massive student accommodation development planned for Cape Town CBD

-The development will cater to 3,000 students and have retail space

-It's hoped the project will bring new life into the CBD

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An artists impression of the Cape Town station student accommodation development. Picture: Eris Property Group

Cape Town's once vibrant CBD became lacklustre during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the introduction of a massive student accommodation could breathe new life into the CBD.

With the migration of students into the province, Cape Town has faced a student accommodation shortage in recent years.

The company behind the development - Eris Property Group - acquired the station forecourt from the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa.

The project - which is now in full swing - will have over 3,000 beds and include a 6000m2 shopping centre.

Speaking to Lester Kiewit, the Eris Property Group's executive head of student accommodation Johan Van Vuuren said they aimed to make the CBD welcoming for students.

It creates many economic spinoffs. It allows the areas not to deteriorate, but rather rejuvenate.

Johan van Vuuren, Eris Property Group

However, with rising crime levels in the CBD, there is a concern about the safety of students.

Van Vuuren believes there's a need for more collaboration between police, the community, business, civil society and other relevant stakeholders.

In conjunction with the CCID, we have security measures in place internally. Transport accessibility is good so students won't have to walk everywhere. But its about everyone holding hands and making it work.

Johan van Vuuren, Eris Property Group

The challenge now for student accommodation companies is to combat fraud by prospective tenants.

Van Vuuren said their policy would require students to furnish their proof of registration with an accredited tertiary institution.

We have a mandate from our investors to deliver 75% of our beds put to the market at the NSFAS rate. The universities don't allow other parties to stay in student accommodation if they're not accredited with the university. The checks and balances are in place.

Johan van Vuuren, Eris Property Group

Student hubs are known to be bustling, energetic and sometimes disruptive.

Accommodation managers have the hard task of monitoring anti-social behaviour and disturbances.

The regulations must be in place and student must abide. If they want to stay in a place where there are limits, then we're the place to be. We have residence managers and other team staff on site to deal with all sorts of issues. We find its just a minority of students that want to break the rules.

Johan van Vuuren, Eris Property Group

The accommodation has a student life programme focused on mental and emotional support, sport, financial guidance, which will shape them to become responsible adults.

It's not just about the degree. It's about giving them the opportunity to be successful in life post studying.

Johan van Vuuren, Eris Property Group

It's expected the project will be completed in November 2023.

Scroll up for the interview.




23 June 2022 2:12 PM
Tags:
Cape Town CBD
Student accomodation
Train station
Eris Property Group

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