Brookfield, Citiplan Plot 31-Storey Brisbane Student Digs

The growing need for purpose-built student housing sector in Brisbane has prompted plans for a 31-storey tower on Margaret Street.

Plans for the tower have been lodged with the Brisbane City Council by joint-venture partners Brookfield and Citiplan Property.

The Victorian-headquartered Citiplan, which works across development, asset and operational management, aims to expand its Journal Student Living portfolio into Queensland with the tower.

Canadian giant Brookfield is one of the world’s largest alternative investment management companies with more than US$690 billion in assets.

Under plans by Cox Architecture, the 23,607sq m GFA tower at 240 Margaret Street would comprise 930 beds on the 1715sq m site, currently home to a low-rise 1980s office building and car park.

It is aiming for a 5-star rating from Green Building Council of Australia.

▲ A render of the tower planned for Margaret Street in the Brisbane CBD.

The design comprises a 28-storey residential tower atop a ground floor and two-level “activated green podium and double height ground level with a layered façade”.

The podium levels would incorporate shared facilities including a gymnasium, cinema, multiple games rooms, kitchen and dining hall, outdoor event space, library and multiple study areas,.

The single basement level would include bicycle parking only, so vehicular access is not included. The ground floor will include retails outlets and outdoor seating.

Several sky terraces are planned on floors 21 and 22, and a rooftop sky terrace on the top floor.

It is hoped the tower will be open for the new school year in 2026.

▲ The tower would include a two-level podium with facilities for residents.

Like most Australian capitals, Brisbane has a chronic undersupply of student accommodation, driven by the increasing number of students returning to Australia.

According to planners Urbis, Brisbane has “established itself as an international destination for higher education, with significant numbers of international students residing in the inner-city”.

“Provision of PBSA that is well designed and suited to student cohorts is a highly important objective for a major urban City such as Brisbane,” its statement in the application said.

“After an increase in supply in the last decade, the pipeline of PBSA assets in Brisbane has dried up and the future provision of PBSA facilities is very low.”

▲ A possible illumination to crown the building put forward by Cox Architecture.

This is not the first joint venture for Brookfield and Citibank’s Journal—just last month their proposed tower in Carlton in inner Melbourne, next to the University of Melbourne campus, was approved.

The 15-storey building that also includes three retail tenancies will comprise 465 beds in 365 rooms.

Also approved last month was Wee Hur’s 18-storey purpose-built student accommodation project in the inner Sydney suburb of Redfern.

The Antoniades Architects-designed $53-million tower will provide 409 student beds in 307 studio rooms, 21 ensuited rooms and 37 two-bedroom rooms.

Given the return of students to our shores, the sector is proving alluring for investors Australian Unity executive general manager for social infrastructure Ryan Banting told The Urban Developer purpose-built student-accommodation assets were having “a renaissance”.

Article source: Queensland Property Investor