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Spark Living awarded 30-year University of Tasmania student accommodation licence

An innovative new partnership will unlock capital in the University of Tasmania’s student accommodation assets, allowing for greater investment in the institution’s core priorities: research, teaching and the student experience.

The Spark Living consortium, which includes DIF and Tetris Capital, has been awarded a 30-year licence arrangement for 10 of the University’s 14 purpose-built accommodation properties.

In what is an emerging model in the tertiary sector, Spark Living has paid an amount, which is commercial in confidence, in return for future rental revenue. Spark Living was selected following a competitive tender process.

The University is actively working with its new partner to explore options for further student accommodation developments across Tasmania to support projected future growth and demand.

Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Mike Calford said the deal was a strong result for the University strategically and financially, under which the University would retain control of the services and care provided to students.

“This transaction is a significant demonstration of confidence, both in the University of Tasmania and the State of Tasmania,” Professor Calford said.

“The proceeds from this transaction will allow us to invest further in our core business of research, teaching, the student experience, and our ongoing projects to transform Tasmania through the integration of our campuses with our cities. The partnership means capital upgrades to some of our student accommodation buildings will commence immediately.”

Spark Living, working closely with highly experienced contractor Programmed Facilities Management, will take over as asset managers when the deal is finalised at the end of 2017.

Professor Calford said the transition would be seamless, with the University continuing to control the allocation of students to accommodation, and day-to-day operations of student accommodation and pastoral care.

The arrangement includes accommodation facilities across the State, totalling approximately 1,800 beds. The Mount Nelson Villas in Hobart, Norfolk Hall in Launceston and the Atrium Apartments in Burnie are not included.


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