High-rise boarding house for Crown Lane back on the cards

Student housing: The boarding house would rise behind Humber and Kneading Ruby. Inset artist's impression: PRD Architects.
Student housing: The boarding house would rise behind Humber and Kneading Ruby. Inset artist's impression: PRD Architects.

For at least a decade, there has been a push to bring student housing into Wollongong’s CBD.

Development applications have come and gone, but so far, no new inner-city student housing has been built and the University of Wollongong has stormed ahead with its plans to house more people out of the city, on campus.

But a new proposal, recently lodged with Wollongong City Council, has put city boarding houses back on the cards.

Submitted by PRD Architects, the proposal is seeking permission to build a nine-storey block with two levels of basement parking in Crown Lane.

The ground floor would contain commercial premises and boarding house administration, while the eight upper levels would be for boarding house use with 95 rooms.

This, the developers say, aims provide a mixed-use building “within the Wollongong Commercial Core to support the need for provision of additional student accommodation within a central and accessible location”.

The vacant development site at 9 Crown Lane has been subject to other proposals in recent years.

In 2010, a development known as the Evolution project received council approval. This was resurrected in 2016, with plans lodged to include 35 units on top of more than 1600 square metres of commercial space, and 68 car parking spaces below.

Last week, as GPT announced its plans to sell 100 per cent of it’s Wollongong shopping centre assets, Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said he believed high-rise accommodation would be a part of the inner-city’s future.

He noted there was an approved plan for high-rise units to be built on top of GPT – which neighbours the Crown Lane proposal – and said student housing would boost retail by bringing more people into the city.