It’s predicted jobs will increase, the economy will grow, and property values will rise in Adelaide’s south in response to Flinders Village, a transformational $1.5 billion development at Flinders University’s Bedford Park campus.
Creating the biggest integrated health and education precinct in South Australia, Flinders Village will advance health services and research, and establish a new urban centre with accommodation and retail amenities that will benefit Flinders’ Bedford Park and Tonsley campuses, the adjacent hospitals and surrounding suburbs.
According to Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling, Flinders Village will transform the precinct around the soon to be constructed Flinders Rail link and energise southern Adelaide.
“We will work with our communities to create a vibrant urban environment that will become a lifestyle location for our students, staff, researchers, and indeed the broader community” Professor Stirling says.
The heart of the Village will be known as Flinders Square, framed by the rail station, research building and a boutique shopping centre with a hotel behind it. Future development plans include transition accommodation for patients leaving Flinders Medical Centre, aged care and childcare.
“From high-tech research facilities to cafes, shops, entertainment, and new student accommodation, Flinders Village will be a place to live, learn, innovate, work and enjoy.
“It’s a one-in-a-generation opportunity and will become a destination for southern Adelaide for people in our community and beyond” he says.
Premier Steven Marshall says the collaboration of local, state and federal government with the University and private sector would assure an exceptional result.
“How good is Flinders! What we’ll see in the future is a great enhancement of this campus, taking this university to the next level, education our future generations and being a great icon and a great contributor to our economy for decades to come.”
Pat Gerace, the Chief Executive of the Urban Development Institute of Australia in South Australia believes the concentration of student accommodation, combined with improved transport access, could create a level of vibrancy shared by the world’s great universities.
“The space and scale is impressive, and this is a wonderful opportunity for Flinders to do something iconic.
“Anything that they design up there that’s innovative (will) make a statement that they are a great university and it’s a place to be” Mr Gerace says.
A Health Research building with a focus on mental health, infectious disease and personalised health delivery will lead the transformation. Development will occur in parallel with an increase in student residential spaces to accommodate the growing numbers of regional and international students choosing to live on campus.
Real estate experts have responded that the development is likely to attract more people to the area and be a magnet for investors, especially with the demand that will be created by a rise in international students, increasing value and generating benefits that will reverberate for years to come.
Construction of Flinders Village will commence in 2021, with the health research building ‘shovel ready’ in late 2020 for 2021/22 construction. A staged approach to student accommodation will roll out from 2021. A ‘pop up’ Village will be created to provide amenity during the initial construction phases. Transitional accommodation, hotel facilities and retail will be progressively completed between 2022 and circa 2030.