New student housing will boost inner-city population

Otautahi House opposite CPIT Aoraki.

Otautahi House opposite CPIT Aoraki.

Work has started on new student accommodation that will bring more residents into central Christchurch.

CPIT Aoraki has been granted resource consent to expand its existing student housing complex, Otautahi House.

The polytechnic will add three new buildings to the complex, boosting bedroom numbers from 72 to almost 200.

Otautahi House is on the corner of St Asaph and Madras streets opposite CPIT Aoraki's main Christchurch campus. It is owned by CPIT Aoraki's Otautahi Education Development Trust, which leases it back to the polytech. 

CPIT Aoraki chief executive Kay Giles said it was pleased the trust was building more student housing and helping attract people back into the central city.

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The new buildings will go alongside on 291 and 293 St Asaph St. The land has been used as a car park since industrial buildings on it were demolished post-earthquake.

Each new block will be three storeys high with balconies, and similar in style to the existing complex. They will house 24 flats, each with five bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a shared kitchen and living room.

Together they will add 120 bedrooms to the complex, and more cycle and car parks. The existing rooms are in 12 flats, each with six bedrooms.

Construction is starting on the site now, with the first stage with 80 beds due to be finished by the end of this year. Stage two with 40 beds is scheduled to be finished by March next year.

Students must be studying full-time at the polytech to qualify to live in the complex, which now charges $175 a week rent plus some add-on fees.

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Buildings already going up on the main campus include the $30 million new Engineering and Architectural Studies block, while the $16m Te Whareora science and wellbeing facility was opened last year.

 - Stuff

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