R125m new student residence to open near University of Pretoria and TUT

Eastwood Village – internal view

Respublica, one of South Africa’s leading developers, owners and managers of student accommodation, has announced that Eastwood Village, its fifth purpose-built apartment-style student residence, will open its doors to students in January 2016, with booking facilities already open for students seeking new accommodation for next year.

Developed at a cost of over R125m, Eastwood Village is located less than one kilometre from the University of Pretoria (UP) and close to the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Arcadia campus. It will offer accommodation to 538 students in 78 apartments, as well as a canteen, recreation rooms, a gym, a computer laboratory, and study rooms. Construction is on track for completion for the start of the 2016 academic year, giving students at tertiary level at any institution in Pretoria the opportunity to move into brand-new, state of the art accommodation.

“Respublica is committed to alleviating the critical shortage of suitable accommodation around Pretoria, and we have designed Eastwood Village to create and nurture a vibrant student community,” says Craig McMurray, CEO of Respublica. “The residence offers all the modern amenities that students need, including access to WiFi and an integrated residence life programme, to help them ease into their new way of life away from home.”

The residence offers a range of upmarket apartment and accommodation options, to meet the needs of diverse personal preferences and budgets. Even though it is within walking distance of the UP campus, Eastwood Village has been carefully located along bus routes leading to both UP and TUT, giving students a range of options to travel to lectures.

This latest addition to Respublica’s portfolio sees the company building on the foundations laid earlier in the year, when Redefine Properties, the second largest listed South Africa-based property company, bought a 51% share in the student accommodation company.

“This growth in our portfolio adds momentum to investors’ focus on the commercial residential sector, amid concerns that retail, office and industrial properties will see muted rental growth and growing vacancy rates in a struggling economy,” McMurray says. “There is a justified concern about return forecasts from the traditional institutional properties segments – but there is a well-known undersupply of student accommodation, with a demand for affordable, well-serviced solutions clearly evident in the major university towns.

“Respublica is actively engaging with bursar programmes as well as parents and others who are funding tertiary education, as we share growing evidence of research that indicates students are more successful in their academic endeavours if they can live and study in a supportive environment,” he adds. “There is no more powerful investment than an investment in education, and we want to help all stakeholders achieve the best possible outcome for their time and money.”

Respublica’s portfolio of residences includes Saratoga Village and The Fields in Doornfontein, which provide accommodation for University of Johannesburg, Central Johannesburg College and University of the Witwatersrand students. In Pretoria West City and Urban Nest facilities accommodate students from TUT and UP, as well as from various other colleges in the area. Respublica is engaged in numerous other projects across the country which are at various stages of development and will be announced in due course.