Calgro breaks ground on Cape Town student accommodation project

14th September 2020 By: Schalk Burger - Creamer Media Senior Contributing Editor

JSE-listed residential property and parks developer Calgro M3 has broken ground on a student accommodation project on behalf of the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

The accommodation is being built at Calgro M3's Belhar central business district development, which will help to ease the pressure in Cape Town for affordable accommodation, the company says.

The accommodation is being built on three parcels of land located adjacent to one another within the Belhar development, which is a mixed-use, high-density residential project. The 44 000 m² site borders the southern boundary of the UWC campus, which is also close to the Unibell train station and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

The student accommodation will comprise six buildings capable of housing 2 720 beds. Different types of sleeping quarters will be available to students, including single and double rooms, as well as double-room apartments.

In addition, suitable accommodation and ablution facilities have been designed to cater for disabled students.

Various communal facilities will be located within the residences such as bathrooms, lounges, study and dining areas, kitchens, laundries and tuckshops, along with gym areas and residence manager apartments. All the buildings will be serviced with WiFi, security fences, access control and closed-circuit television in accordance with Government Gazetted specifications. The housing will also feature landscaped gardens.

Construction activities on the Unibell precinct started at the beginning of August and are due for completion in phases between October 2021 to February 2022.

“Calgro M3 is extremely proud to be involved with this project, which will help ease the requirement for affordable student accommodation in Cape Town. Current estimates are that there is a shortage of 300 000 beds for students nationwide. We are likewise considering developing private student residences at Belhar for another third party for this very reason,” says Calgro M3 CEO Wikus Lategan.

The project is 50% funded by UWC and 50% by the Development Bank of Southern Africa. Once handed over, the university will have full ownership and management control of the residences.

The scope of work to be undertaken by Calgro M3 consists of a complete township establishment process, including upgrading of bulk and link infrastructure, the construction of roads, storm water, sewer, water and electrical infrastructure as well as the marketing and sales of a wide range of residential units and the construction of all of the mentioned top-structures.

Calgro M3 has also created an opportunity and facilitated the process for UWC to acquire better located land on the border of its campus for the further development of sports facilities, for example, by means of a land-swap agreement with the Western Cape government on land originally earmarked to be developed on its behalf by Calgro M3.