The West Australian

The number of students who live in the city centre may outstrip resident professionals as construction starts next month on the third student tower in postcode 6000.

The $38 million, 39-storey skyscraper on Wellington Street — where student rooms will tower over Bankwest in neighbouring Raine Square — will be the fifthtallest building in Perth. The development was approved this year, but the sale of the Globe Backpackers and City Oasis Resort Hostel on site did not settle until this week.

Colliers International sold the 688sqm site for $8.65 million, or $12,572 per square metre.

The changing demographics will significantly affect the atmosphere and amenity in the city, and the mix of businesses.

The Urban Development Institute of Australia (WA) welcomed the trend.

“The increased diversity in residents in the city will help make the CBD community more resilient and commercial activity less dependent on the fortunes of one particular industry or community segment,” chief Tanya Steinbeck said.

Consultancy Urbis said the falling age of the city residents was a sign it was growing up.

About 30 per cent of the 6000 postcode was aged between 20 and 29, well below the 54 per cent in the age group in Melbourne’s 3000 postcode.

“Perth is catching up with other Australian cities in having students living in the inner-city area,” director David Cresp said.

Analysis by The West Australian shows the new tower will add 430 student beds to the postcode, on top of 700 to 1000 student beds at the 11-storey Campus Perth, and 571 beds at Stirling Capital’s 24-level The Student Housing Company, which both opened last year.

The three towers will together accommodate 2000 students.

The 2016 census — which recorded 1500 students living in the postcode — suggests a similar number could be in share houses, taking numbers to about 3500 with the new tower.

The census showed 2200 professionals — which outstripped the number of students in the 6000 postcode at the time. This number has also risen and will continue to do so as Elizabeth Quay apartments fill up.

Architectural firm MJA Studio has designed the tower to sit behind the preserved exterior of the backpackers and hotel. The 6000 area extends from Elizabeth Quay to Highgate, but excludes East Perth and Northbridge.