THE RISE & RISE OF SEVEN STAR STUDENT ACCOMMODATION IN NOTTINGHAM
Two recent Nottingham Post articles focus attention on the increasing amount of 'high-end' purpose built student accommodation in Nottingham's city centre.
These Flats at Former Nightclub Halo are being Snapped up by Nottingham's Students
Students are snapping up flats at a former city nightclub - where a big studio will set you back £250 a week.
The flats are in a building named Hydrogen - the home of the former Halo nightclub - opposite the Theatre Royal, on Goldsmith Street.
Opened in September, each of the 162 self-contained studios in the £16m development is fully-furnished and has state-of-the-art kitchen facilities and a private shower room.
Residents have access to a communal student lounge with study areas, jungle zone, large TV and giant bean bag sofas, a games room, laundry facilities and building management team. Communal dining, work and relaxing areas also provide space to socialise and spend time with friends.
Interest from students across Nottingham and beyond was extremely high as soon as the marketing suite for them was opened at the beginning of February this year.
David Hargreaves, director at FHP Student Living, said: "We're expecting a lot of interest in Hydrogen again this year and would advise anyone who is interested to move quickly.
"Last year, a third of the studios were taken up in the first five days of being released, and 12 of them went on the first day. We had thought it would be popular, but the amount of interested it received took us by surprise.
"The growth of the Nottingham student population has obviously played a pivotal role in the need for more student accommodation options across the city.
However we have also witnessed a clear shift in the demands of students when it comes to where they live.
"Students in 2016 have markedly higher expectations compared to a decade ago and now expect luxurious city centre living with en-suite facilities. This has resulted a geographic shift in where students are residing, with the city centre now closely rivalling traditional student hubs such as Lenton, The Arboretum, Beeston and West Bridgford."
Prices start at £145 a week, with the most exclusive studios costing £250. The rental is inclusive of all bills and super-fast broadband.
As the student letting season across Nottingham starts and students search for the best accommodation available for the 2017/18 academic year, Nottingham-based student lettings firm, FHP Student Living is expecting a busy couple of months.
More than 60,000 Nottingham-based students are now enrolled at Nottingham Trent University and The University of Nottingham, which has resulted in the construction of many new purpose-built student developments across the city centre.
[Karen Antcliff, Nottingham Post, Wednesday 14 December 2016]
'Seven-Star' Student Flats with Cinema Rooms and Study Hammocks
Private cinemas, party rooms with DJ booths and hammocks in study rooms are some of the luxuries students in Nottingham will be able to enjoy in a new £40m complex described as "seven-star accommodation".
Fusion Nova, which is currently being built in Wollaton Street, will offer the city's highest quality student flats when it opens in October next year, says the company that will run the site.
Set alongside other new student accommodation developments, it comprises 437 rooms, each coming with a double bed, USB sockets and 42in TV.
The project has been led by student accommodation provider Fusion Students and management company Collegiate AC.
Collegiate CEO Heriberto Cuanalo said: "Students have traditionally had to put up with whatever accommodation they're given and while they've still had fun, the world has turned upside down and there's more pressure to do well with tuition fees rising.
"We're finding that students, much like other consumers, want a higher standard of living and are probably the most brand-conscious, aspirational group we have in society.
"Nottingham is getting a much better level of supply and choice. If you're coming here to study from overseas, Bristol or wherever, you want to make sure you have the best environment to enjoy your studies.
"This will be the best student accommodation in Nottingham by a long way – it has the sort of facilities you'd find in an international seven-star resort."
With 37,000 students living in Nottingham – 11.6 per cent of the 319,000 population – according to the latest census, the companies working on the scheme said demand was high for city student accommodation.
Fusion Nova will be aimed at undergraduates and postgraduates from both University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University.
The complex includes study and conference rooms with purpose-built hammocks for studying; party rooms with top-of-the-range sound systems and lighting, a DJ booth, bar and dance floor; private fully-equipped gym; games room with table football, ice hockey and table tennis; private cinema with high-tech facilities; and a cold store to keep groceries fresh until students arrive back from lectures.
There is also a 24/7 concierge team on hand, providing free coffee at breakfast and to sign for deliveries when students are busy, as well as overseeing security.
Apartments range from one-bed studios to five bedrooms, and shared flats are available with en suites, as well as communal kitchens and lounges.
Prices range between £134 per week to £243 per week for a 51-week contract, including bills.
Warren Rosenberg, co-founder of Fusion Students, said: "Nottingham is not only emerging as a place of first-class education but also a lively, cultural city – the perfect location for students.
"With the University of Nottingham now ranked in the top one percent, according to the 2016 QS World University Rankings, at Fusion Students we have noticed the brilliance of the city and all it has to offer.
"We are thrilled to be working with Collegiate AC once more and are confident that Nova is the perfect accommodation for those that want the feel of a boutique hotel with amazing facilities on offer to make sure that student living is truly luxurious and fun."
[Dan Robinson, Nottingham Post, Friday 16 December 2016]
But, is this what Nottingham Needs?
First, a little clarification about student numbers, which, having read the articles, you may have found rather puzzling. Apparently, the total number of students enrolled at Nottingham University and Nottingham Trent University is aoround 60,000. However, only two-thirds of these live within the City's boundaries, so around 37,000.
Ultimately, the question as to whether this trend towards more and more (dare I call it?) 'extravagant' student accommodation is what the majority of students need, or indeed can afford, is something only students will be able answer.
No doubt investors and developers will be hoping they do: otherwise, they are going to end up with their wallets empty and their fingers burnt, while Nottingham's city centre will be left with a surfeit of empty accommodation in a situation not that different from the office boom and bust of a few decades ago.
However, if what Nottingham needs is the sort of family housing which is going to persuade graduates to stay within the City's boundaries rather than migrate into the leafy suburbs of West Bridgford and further afield, then expensive purpose build competing with other expensive purpose build, is not going to
- reduce the demand for HMOs in our so-called 'studentified' neighbourhoods;
- increase the possibility that landlords will either sell them to families, or even contemplate renting them to families rather than students;
- release back onto the market precisely the sort of good-sized, good quality family homes which, apparently, are in chronically short supply in Nottingham.
As it stands, HMO landlords must really be loving it when they read articles like these.