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New Sainsbury’s set to open on St Aldates

Christ Church students will be able to access their new “state-of-the-art” accommodation block on Queen’s Street at the start of next term – located above a new Sainsbury’s Local store, which is set to open this month.

The new accommodation building, developed by Reef Estates, will include 133 ensuite rooms, kitchens, and common rooms, along with a cinema room and gym in the basement. The rooms will be above several new shops, including the Sainsbury’s Local with its storefront on St Aldates. Though the majority of the rooms will be used by Christ Church, a portion of the accommodation – 54 rooms – may be let to other colleges.

Work on the site began last year, following two years of discussions regarding the building’s design. The architecture had input from Oxford Civic Society and conservation officers at the city council.

“It’s a state-of-the-art building for students with nice kitchens and common rooms, and a cinema room in the basement,” said Jacob Russell, head of design at Reef Estates.

“Some of rooms have fantastic views over the skyline and Christ Church students will be right in the centre of the city, but not too far away from the college.”

Speaking about the project, Labour city councillor Colin Cook said: “It will be an asset to Queen Street and a good location for students to move into for the new term.”

Work at the site is expected to finish on 21 August, with Sainsbury’s opening by the end of the month. The accommodation will be ready for students to move in at the beginning of Michaelmas.

The work’s completion comes in the midst of significant changes to the city centre, with the opening of the new Westgate shopping centre due on 24 October.

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