Developments News

Calgro M3 breaks ground on UWC student accommodation

An artist's impression of the University of the Western Cape's student accommodation.
An artist's impression of the University of the Western Cape's student accommodation.

JSE-listed Calgro M3 has recently broken ground on student accommodation for the University of the Western Cape at the group’s Belhar CBD development.

With a critical national student housing shortage, this will help ease the pressure in Cape Town for affordable accommodation of this nature.

The accommodation is to be 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 000m2 site borders the southern boundary of the University of the Western Cape campus. It is conveniently situated close to the Unibell train station and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

Comprising of six buildings capable of housing 2 720 beds, different types of sleeping quarters will be available to students which will include single and double rooms as well as double room apartments. In addition, there will be suitable accommodation and ablution facilities designed specifically to cater for disabled students.

Various communal facilities will be located throughout 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 Wi-Fi, security fences, access control and CCTV – all in accordance with government gazetted specifications. The housing will also feature landscaped gardens.

Construction on the Unibell precinct began at the beginning of August 2020 and completion, in phases, has been scheduled for between October 2021 and February 2022.

Wikus Lategan, CEO of Calgro M3 says they are extremely proud to be involved on this project which will help to 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,” he says.

The project is 50% funded by the University of the Western Cape and 50% funded by the Development Bank of Southern Africa. Once handed over, the university will have full ownership and management control of the residences with security, access control etc. designed to tie into its current systems.

With regards to the entire Belhar development. Lategan said the group had made significant progress, having built 1 497 units ranging from military veteran units to social housing units and open market apartments that fall into the income bracket qualifying for the FLISP subsidy.

In addition, we have installed bulk infrastructure and internal infrastructure for almost 4 000 residential units which included major road and stormwater upgrades, bulk water and sanitation upgrades and electrical infrastructure for the greater Belhar area.”

We have also created an opportunity and facilitated the process for the University of the Western Cape to acquire better located land on the border of its campus for the further development of sports facilities etc. by means of a land swap agreement with the Western Cape Government on land originally earmarked to be developed on their behalf by ourselves”.

He went on to explain the background to the Belhar CBD development which is a joint initiative undertaken by the Calgro M3 Group and the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements.

The strategic imperative of the Belhar CBD development is in support of the City of Cape Town’s Transformation Aim and the principles of the Integrated Human Settlement Framework by the creation of quality integrated communities ensuring an inclusive lifestyle development and successfully addressing spatial inequality in the city.”

Lategan concluded that the group has been working seamlessly in conjunction with local and provincial government and Eskom to deliver this student accommodation to the university on time and within budget.

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