Six-storey Braddon complex to house 400 international students

Ian Bushnell 15 May 2020 27
Braddon student complex

An illustration from the DA of the proposed Braddon student complex. Images: Canberra Town Planning.

Trendy Braddon will become home to more than 400 international students if a development application for a six-storey mixed-use complex on Mort Street is approved.

The lessee of 44/46 Mort Street, Mesja Pty Ltd, is proposing to clear Blocks 5 and 6 Section 20, currently an office building and car park respectively, and has applied to vary the lease to allow commercial accommodation.

The plans include 406 one-bedroom units, ground floor shops, basement car parking and bicycle spaces.

The six levels include 19 units on the ground floor, 71 units (including two accessible units) on levels one to five, and 32 on the sixth floor (including two accessible units).

There will be study spaces on floors one, two and four, and other amenities including a gym, common spaces, music room and laundry.

The development will include two central courtyards, as well as communal open spaces and site landscaping.

It is aimed at students who are more likely to not have their own vehicles so parking has been calculated on the experiences of the ANU and University of Canberra, at one space per 15 rooms, giving 28 spaces. Fifteen spaces have been allowed for the 296 square metres of ground-floor retail at five per 100 square metres, although five of those will be on the street.

Braddon map

Site of the proposed development.

All up, the development includes another 30 spaces for visitors, for a total of 73.

As one would expect for a student building, there are far more bicycle spaces, 173 in total.

Vehicles will access the site via a driveway on Mort Street at its northern end.

But the DA emphasises the complex’s proximity to amenities, services and public transport, including the light rail and city bus station. The ANU, which usually has 7000 international students, is only 1.5 km away.

The complex is actually expected to result in less traffic in the area, generating a total of 276 trips per day and 56 during the peak time, 90 per cent of the contribution made by the existing development.

The DA says the building will be complemented by a large covered pedestrian area fronting Mort Street which will be activated by ground-floor shops.

”Re-development of this site will ultimately enhance and activate this area of Braddon which reinforces this area as a key prime metropolitan centre which should be attractive, lively and attractive,” the DA says.

The ACT has more than doubled the export value of international education services in Canberra since 2013. Australian Bureau of Statistics data released in June shows that the ACT’s international education exports skyrocketed in 2018, up 15 per cent on 2017 figures to be valued at just over $1.0 billion.

The COVID-19 crisis has set back the ACT’s higher education sector but this development appears to be a show of faith in its long-term future.

The move to establish a new University of NSW campus at Reid will also drive demand for student accommodation in the city.


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27 Responses to Six-storey Braddon complex to house 400 international students
Don Miguel Rocha Don Miguel Rocha 1:05 pm 19 May 20

Brendan Rocha look at all the award winning architects on here!!

Claire Hughes Claire Hughes 10:15 am 19 May 20

How about we look after our own vulnerable people, where is suitable housing for them?

Besides its likely a lot of those students will nit becreturning and this housing us NOT suitable for a large number of vulnerable people.

Daryl Ellis Daryl Ellis 3:51 am 19 May 20

option 2 ,housing commission for low income peoples

alanlazarus alanlazarus 3:53 pm 18 May 20

HUGE improvement to the bland nothingness which is there at the moment, ugly concrete office and paid car park!
Let the builder worry about tenants, and be pleased someone wants to enhance the butt ugly end of Mort Street, alongside the huge bottleshop.

Lucy Baker Lucy Baker 1:43 pm 18 May 20

The number of students to be housed looks to have doubled since Ian Bushnell’s article of 20 March.

Lucy Baker Lucy Baker 12:39 pm 18 May 20

Where’s the commitment to an environmentally conscious, green building? Will there be air conditioning? Why no wide eaves? Will the windows open? Are these “rooms” or “apartments”? Will they have kitchens? Based on the square metrage of the ground floor, these look likely to be under 3x 4 metre rooms. It’s an insult to international students that aspect, design, comfort and amenity are being ignored. Who is the minister responsible? Is it Yvette Berry?”

Lucy Baker Lucy Baker 12:25 pm 18 May 20

How many share metres are the apartments?

Hans Dimpel Hans Dimpel 7:06 am 18 May 20

it looks like a container ship.

James Neill James Neill 8:02 pm 17 May 20

International students come to Australia, in part, to interact with locals rather than just other international students.

Aldith Graves Aldith Graves 12:37 pm 17 May 20

Another ugly shipping container accomodation for students. Who wants to bet that parking will be very difficult indeed if students need cars to get to & from part time employment?

Trish Roberts Trish Roberts 12:18 pm 17 May 20

Woukd students be able to afford the housing?

Carole Ford Carole Ford 9:24 am 17 May 20

I wonder how many overseas students we'll be able to accept in the post Covid19 fallout.

    Kytie Mclign Kytie Mclign 9:37 pm 17 May 20

    Carole Ford Well, we need them, so hopefully they will still want to come here to study.

bikhet bikhet 9:16 am 17 May 20

”Re-development of this site will ultimately enhance and activate this area of Braddon which reinforces this area as a key prime metropolitan centre which should be attractive, lively and attractive.” Not if it looks like this it won’t. It looks like a prison – just right for the next round of quarantine. And who cares about parking. Certainly not the developers if the government lets them get away with it – which they will.

Travissi Gilbert Travissi Gilbert 6:28 am 17 May 20

Looks bloody dreadful and they had better be right about the tenants to cars ratio or a lot of people will cop a lot of parking fines for improvising.

    Kytie Mclign Kytie Mclign 9:36 pm 17 May 20

    Travissi Gilbert It is walking distance to basically everything.

Samantha Colquhoun Samantha Colquhoun 8:20 pm 16 May 20

Great idea but this is ugly - no balconies and cheap looking

Tracey Crump Tracey Crump 7:56 pm 16 May 20

When not even the artists rendering can make it look anything but ugly, we know we are in for a real visual and architectural treat.. 🙄

MarkN MarkN 7:55 pm 16 May 20

As a Braddon resident, as long as I can still get a table for my beer at Bentspoke and get my coffee at Sonoma and Barrio, I’m fine with it.
Might mean we finally get a small supermarket.

Kriso Hadskini Kriso Hadskini 7:09 pm 16 May 20

It's tradtional to be ugly in Canberra. Govt wouldn't know beauty if it bit them.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 10:32 am 19 May 20

    Kriso Hadskini problem of course is beauty is subjective.

    Many of the buildings leading architects go ga ga about I personally think are ugly.

    Personally I don’t think this the is the nicest looking building, but it’s far from the ugliest either.

    That said what’s this got to do with government? You realise its not the government proposing this nor does the government actually really have much say in beauty either. Luckily as beauty as I said is subjective.

Chris Tony Chris Tony 7:08 pm 16 May 20

I'm glad there is a student focused development going ahead. As we are way behind on what we need especially considering how many uni's we have here.

Hopefully they release some further designs for it cos the picture provided does make it look pretty bad

Ruth Kelly Ruth Kelly 6:52 pm 16 May 20

It looks ugly, BUT ONLY international students?

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