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Switching to a new style of student living in Melbourne


A new building called The Switch, specifically designed for Gen Z students, will help accommodate the large influx of international students when it opens early next year. 

The innovative $79 million, 28 level building at 198 A’Beckett Street, near Central Station in the heart of Melbourne, re-designs student living in Victoria and flips the Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) model on its head. 

“Melbourne has a very strong student market and there is a huge demand for good quality accommodation with the return of international students after borders re-opened,” Switch co-founder, Craig Oliver, said. 

“We are appealing specifically to a customer, as opposed to PBSA property, by tapping into the unique characteristics of Gen Z by creating spaces that will enable them to flourish in the domains they are passionate about: environmentalism, regeneration, inclusivity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. 

“We are flipping the PBSA model on its head in some ways by inviting the outside world into our communities, engaging with our residents and challenging them to engage their creative natures.” 

The brainchild of property management professionals Craig Oliver and David Cameron, The Switch puts a modern twist on student accommodation of the past. 

The building - one of the first of its kind in Australia - houses 641 beds in a mixture of furnished private studios through to four bed shared apartments. The all-inclusive rent structure includes use of WiFi, utilities, laundry, common spaces and much more. 

Some of the highlights of the new building include: 

  • A sophisticated design, with Gen Z at the core of everything. For instance, there is a social lounge with a fireplace on Level 11 as well as a private dining room where residents can entertain. 

  • Activation of common spaces by bringing the outside world in – there will be a café on the ground floor that opens into the building and the external laneway 

  • A performance theatre designed to facilitate pop up retailers and be activated by Melbourne’s young up and coming artists, performers and comedians.

  • Meeting rooms, honesty kitchen, cinema, games area, external terraces. 

  • A sheltered rooftop with a DJ booth, ambient lighting and offering panoramic views of the Melbourne skyline. 

  • Staffed gym to host group fitness classes. 

  • Tech focussed: Podcast studio, mobile phone activated keys, access to the Sonder safety app, electronic parcel lockers, tech enabled bedheads, access to the Technogym wellness app and a paperless onboarding experience. 

“We are offering a new type of residential experience for students in Melbourne, which has already proved hugely popular our other properties in Adelaide and Perth and a concept that has really taken off across Europe,” Mr Oliver said 


Photo: Van Tray Media/Unsplash 


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