A new four-storey university accommodation block is set to be built in the Tauranga CBD - but will have one storey less than originally planned.

The University of Waikato's multimillion-dollar development in Selwyn St aims to fill some of the accommodation shortfalls in the area, according to the university.

The four-level development, with a reception and lobby area at ground level, would have 93 beds.

It was originally planned to have five storeys with construction beginning in November 2018 for completion by early 2020.


Neither the university nor the building developer GP Properties Holding Limited were able to give a reason for the storey decrease before this paper's deadline.

Previously, neighbouring residents had mixed feelings about the proposed building.

While there were hopes that the extra people would help revitalise the CBD, this was overshadowed by concerns regarding the building's height, parking, congestion, and the building taking up precious commercial space.

GP Properties Holding Limited company director John McColl said the facility would include a manager's apartment, e-bike charging stations, kitchen and dining areas.

He said he believed the "fit for purpose" facility will align with the needs of the University and its students in a cost-effective and manageable fashion.

An artist's impression of the building. Photo / Supplied
An artist's impression of the building. Photo / Supplied

Waikato University senior vice-chancellor Professor Alister Jones said the university was known as being a good neighbour, adding the new educational precinct was a critical part of delivering a successful city.

"The new accommodation block will help strengthen the culture and life of the university, and having a community within the CBD also helps create a more vibrant city."

He said new campus development had seen the number of students in Tauranga increase by over 30 per cent this year.


Tauranga City Council issued resource consent for the new building late last year, with construction due to start soon.

Meanwhile, students were expected to be able to use the facility from 2021.

Each of the 93 student living units would include an independent bedroom and bathroom facilities with the kitchen, dining, lounge, games room and laundry being shared.

There would be parking available in the basement.

Priority One communications and projects manager Annie Hill said accommodating the increasing number of tertiary students was crucial ''to establish Tauranga as a desired study destination in New Zealand and overseas''.

"A suitable student accommodation offering within close proximity to the CBD campus will enhance Tauranga's relative attractiveness as a study destination for local and international students," she said.

University of Waikato students have their say

Jake Angus currently flatted in Pāpāmoa as he said it was the only option for him.

Originally from Auckland, Angus said he would have loved to live in university accommodation but it was just not affordable.

"They kick you out at the end of the year, so you're back to square one."

Regan Thomas, a student from Paeroa, said it was extremely hard to get accommodation in Tauranga.

He was only able to lock down a flat in the Mount after months of commuting from Paeroa to Tauranga while hunting for a flat.

He said it was challenging to find a flat as a student, even with good references.

Thomas said he enjoyed the freedom in flatting and probably would not live in student accommodation.

"Tauranga just doesn't fit the bill for a student town yet and I don't think it will before I graduate."