south yarra build to rent
The developers say the project increases the diversity of housing choice nationally. Image Supplied.
  • The development will be home to 625 units and 2,400sqm of office space
  • Build-to-rent is a relatively new concept in Australia
  • Located in South Yarra, the development will be just two railway stops to the CBD

Greystar Real Estate Partners and Fender Katsalidis have announced planning approval for the largest ‘build to rent’ development in Australia.

The project will be located in the inner Melbourne suburb of South Yarra, and will feature 625 units with 2,400 square metres of retail/commercial office space.

With the build-to-rent market in its infancy in Australia. Inspiration has been taken from international markets where such initiatives have resulted in significant social, economic and environmental benefits.

The development will create 970 jobs during construction with a further 150 during the office, retail and on-site management components, once completed.

“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,” said Chris Key, Managing Director for Greystar in Australia.

“This project is not just the largest development of its kind, but it is an important step in increasing the diversity of housing choice in Australia.”

Chris Key, MD Greystar

Mr Key added that they worked closely with the City of Stonnington to facilitate a smooth planning process driven by collaborative innovation.

“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.”

The proposal features two towers over a combined basement with ground level retail, that activates a pedestrian through-link to the benefit of the neighbourhood.

The first 30-storey tower on Yarra Street will be home to 382 build-to-rent apartments with 2,000 square metres of commercial office space. The second 21-storey Claremont Street tower will provide 243 apartments furnished.

The development will also feature a pedestrian laneway connecting to South Yarra train station, which is only two stops from Melbourne’s City Loop.

South Yarra – 2141

According to SQM Research, units in South Yarra have an asking price of just under $490,000 as of this month. By comparison, three-bedroom houses asking prices are above $1.9 million.

“Our design centres on integrating build-to-rent and flex housing into the character of South Yarra’s Forrest Hill precinct through the incorporation of amenity and a focus on the site’s context,” said James Pearce, Director at Fender Katsalidi.

“The towers will be distinct but achieve cohesion using colours and materiality, with the architecture providing the foundations to allow Greystar to operate numerous services and provide a high-quality living experience for its residents.”

James Pearce, Fender Katsalidi director

The site was originally acquired by Greystar in February 2020, as two of the last remaining development sites in the Forrest Hill precinct, which is home to many retail, food and entertainment offerings along Toorak and Chapel Street.

“This build-to-rent project is an important step in Greystar’s strategic vision of unlocking complex development sites to bring high-quality housing options to a broader spectrum of the rental population,” said Mr Key.

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