SINGAPORE (Nov 28): Developer Wee Hur Holdings announced that its Australian-focused purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) trust, Wee Hur PBSA Master Trust, has acquired a 1,038 sqm property in Melbourne, Australia, for A$35 million ($35.8 million).

In a Tuesday announcement, the group says it intends to develop its third PBSA on the freehold land, which is located at 183-189 A’Beckett Street and is an estimated 10-minute walk from both University of Melbourne (Melbourne U) and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).

Approximately 900 beds will be built, and will bring the total number of PBSA beds in the pipeline under the Wee Hur PBSA Master Trust to 3,250.

Construction is expected to start in 4Q18.

Wee Hur has been granted a development permit for the site for the development of a block of residential apartments. Upon completion of the acquisition, the group intends to apply for an amendment to the permit to develop a PBSA instead.

“We are very pleased with this acquisition in Melbourne. It is a city not to be missed in which to develop and own a PBSA. We believe Melbourne will remain a strong and attractive market for PBSA and we will continue to source for further opportunities in Melbourne to grow our PBSA portfolio,” says Goh Yeow Lian, Executive Chairman, Wee Hur.

According to the group, there has been substantial progress in the construction of its first PBSA, [email protected] Central at Buranda, Brisbane. It is expected to complete in 1H18 with 1,578 beds.

The second PBSA will be developed along Gray Street, Adelaide. Wee Hur says the development approval for the site’s redevelopment into a 772-bed PBSA has been approved – with construction, which is expected to complete by 1Q19, having just commenced.  

Shares in Wee Hur closed flat at 25 cents on Tuesday.