At 78m high, Beckley Court on Cobourg Street will dwarf the city’s current tallest building, the 14-storey Civic Centre.
The project will provide 507 beds across 164,935 sq ft of accommodation.
It will feature a mix of cluster flats, studios and two-bedroom flats with commercial space provided on the lower ground and ground floors, and there will also be a management suite, reception area, common rooms and laundrette.
Kier is currently on site demolishing an existing six-storey building to make way for the new build, with construction work set to begin at the end of November.
Anthony Irving, Kier Construction managing director for the south-west and Wales, commented: “This landmark project, which will be one of the tallest buildings in the south-west, is a significant win for our Devon and Cornwall team, and forms a key part of Vision 2020, Kier’s strategy for growth.
“The delivery of this major flagship project will require around 200 people working on site at its peak, which means it’s also an important scheme for Plymouth and the city’s economy, creating valuable employment and training opportunities in our local supply chain.”
CEO of Threesixty Developments Limited, Bob Crompton, said: “The new building will be an important development for Plymouth as it’s a key landmark site for those that enter the city.”
The scheme should be open in time for students to move in from September 2017. It will be operated by The Student Housing Company.