Signs that the Nottingham city centre student accommodation boom could be nearing an end have come this week after one of the city’s largest providers of student digs has admitted that its flagship development is under-subscribed.
Fusion Students wants to change the top four floors (which comprise of 165 rooms) of its Nova building on Talbot Street into serviced accommodation until August 2018 to make sure it is full in its first year of operation.
Fusion said guests could include those visiting on business or even sports stars staying overnight in Nottingham.
A letter to Nottingham City Council from Alder King Planning Consultants, reads: “Whilst bookings are currently strong, a temporary change of use is sought to ensure that the building is fully occupied during its first year of operation. A degree of uncertainty exists about student uptake in the first year as the building is not due to be handed over from construction until one month before the start of term. This creates challenges in terms of marketing the development to prospective residents as many parts of the building cannot be viewed. Therefore Fusion Students are seeking to take a ‘belt and braces’ approach to occupation during the first year.”
Fusion has used a similar approach at its student accommodation schemes in Bristol and Newcastle.
The firm had originally marketed the £40m Nova as “seven-star” accommodation, offering Nottingham’s highest quality student flats.
Prices at Nova range between £134 per week to £243 per week for a 51-week contract, including bills.
Last December Warren Rosenberg, co-founder of Fusion Students, told local press: “Nottingham is not only emerging as a place of first-class education but also a lively, cultural city – the perfect location for students.”