Bond University reboots development plans with bid for student accommodation towers

Bond University reboots development plans with bid for student accommodation towers

Artist's impression of Bond University's proposed new student accommodation development

The housing shortage on the Gold Coast has led Bond University to rework a decade-old plan for a mixed-use development on a site it owns at Varsity Lakes into a major new student accommodation centre for the education hub.

Bond University has lodged a development application for a vacant 7,063sqm site it owns at 14 Lake Street, directly adjacent to the university campus, for the construction of a twin-tower project that will provide 646 student beds across 499 units.

The project will offer a mix of studios and shared two and three-bedroom units, as well as 1,345sqm of tuition, learning and study spaces.

The development, being undertaken by Bond University subsidiary Lashkar Pty Ltd, will comprise buildings of 15 and 17 levels plus supporting dining, exercise, study and communal facilities.

The new development will be connected to the university campus via a pedestrian bridge.

In 2010, the site secured approval for a mixed-used development that was to comprise 121 apartments with additional retail, dining and commercial uses. That proposal never proceeded, although subsequent owners sought and gained extensions to the original development, with the latest occurring in 2020.

Bond University would not comment on whether it was going it alone with the student accommodation development or securing a joint-venture partner for the project.

“The university has had long-term plans for new accommodation facilities to complement the various on-campus options currently available,” says Bond University in a statement.

“Today's students expect high-quality amenities such as self-catering facilities, private bathrooms, connectivity, and shared learning and networking spaces.

“This development addresses those needs as well as the tight rental market, alleviating the pressure on Bond University students seeking affordable housing.”

Bond University already offers a range of student accommodation options on campus. However, with international students typically comprising almost half the university’s student population, the demand for accommodation has been heightened with the return of international students to the Gold Coast where off-campus choices have been constrained by the city’s persistently tight residential vacancy rate.

While a start date for the project has not been confirmed, Bond University notes that the proposed development is still subject to council approval.

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