The largest-ever build-to-rent project in Australia has received planning approval in the Melbourne suburb of South Yarra, signalling growing momentum for the single-owner residential development model.
A project of Greystar Real Estate Partners in collaboration with architects Fender Katsalidis, the build will comprise two towers over a combined basement, offering 625 units and 2,400 square metres of retail and commercial office space.
Of the forthcoming apartments, 382 will be traditional rental units completed in the first, 30-storey tower. The remaining 243 units, housed in a 21-storey tower, will be offered as fully furnished, flexible living apartments.
Chris Key, managing director for Greystar in Australia, said the project intended to deliver a greater diversity of housing choices to the Australian market.
“This purposeful design will not only deliver a best-in-class build-to-rent experience to consumers with expertly managed apartments, workspaces and abundant amenity areas, but it will also introduce an innovative new flexible living typology to Australian renters,” Mr Key said.
With this project, Greystar is obviously betting big on the build-to-rent asset class. Though in its nascent stages in Australia, build-to-rent has proved to be an inviting investment across the UK and USA, where results have shown the model is most successful when developed in close collaboration with stakeholders and the surrounding community.
Greystar has reportedly worked alongside the Stonnington City local government area to ensure the project was contributing positively to the surrounding social infrastructure. It estimates the project will create 970 jobs during the construction phase, and approximately 150 further jobs through the finished commercial offerings.
“The City of Stonnington has worked closely with us to understand the nuances of the build-to-rent model, and as a result, we have collectively delivered our shared vision of a truly innovative development plan,” said Mr Key.
“While build-to-rent is an emerging housing product in Australia, we believe it is simply a matter of time before this residential sector gains a foothold as a primary investment allocation for institutional investors in the Australian market.”