AsheMorgan gains ministerial approval for $700m BTR project at Melbourne’s Docklands

AsheMorgan gains ministerial approval for $700m BTR project at Melbourne’s Docklands

AsheMorgan's proposed $700 million District Living project at Docklands

Sydney-based private equity real estate group AsheMorgan has secured state government approval for a $700 million residential project in Melbourne that is set to become one of the largest build-to-rent developments in the Docklands precinct.

The project, known as District Living, will deliver more than 900 build-to-rent (BTR) apartments across two buildings on Little Docklands Drive which is part of a major 10ha landholding by AsheMorgan that houses The District Docklands mixed-used development.

District Living, which has been given the green light by Victoria’s Minister for Planning, Sonya Kilkenny, is aiming to provide housing for young families at Docklands through a combination of studios and apartments ranging from one to three bedrooms, as well as more than 4,000sqm of amenity.

The apartment mix will also introduce what AsheMorgan says is a unique offering in the form of Soho-style apartments across two levels.

Enhancing the BTR concept, District Living will provide 2,500sqm of private outdoor space including an outdoor dog park and dog wash, an outdoor fitness area, and large green open spaces to relax.

Within the development, residents will have access to a state-of-the-art wellness centre inclusive of a fitness studio, plunge pool, sauna and steam room and a stunning sky terrace with kitchen, dining and relaxation spaces.

AsheMorgan’s development director Mat Stoddart says the project is designed to meet sustained demand for housing in inner Melbourne amid a shortage of supply.

“Melbourne is facing a significant undersupply of housing, in particular, the rental market is grossly undersupplied with vacancy rates hitting record lows,” he says.

“Project completions, both across build-to-rent and build-to-sell, are expected to fall well short of the required numbers in the next five years in terms of population growth, further cementing a need for a project such as this.

“The project will help cater to the growing demand for high-quality apartments within the suburb, in particular, families who want to live in the Docklands primary catchment and those already renting.

“We are thankful to both the Planning Minister and the Victorian Premier for supporting our vision.”

Kilkenny says approval for the District Living development is in line with the government’s commitment to addressing the state’s housing demand.

“We’re getting on with delivering more homes to meet Victoria’s housing demand including those who most need it,” she says.

“The central location will suit the needs of many Victorians with easy access to jobs, services and transport close by.”

The District Docklands, which was acquired by AsheMorgan in 2014 and formerly known as Harbour Town, currently comprises more than 82,500sqm of net lettable area which is devoted to a mix of retail, office, leisure and dining tenancies.

Since 2014, AsheMorgan has spent more than $250 million on upgrading and repositioning the area’s mixed-use offering with the most recent addition being the Nesuto Apartments project completed in 2022.

The company’s masterplan for the site is aiming to deliver a net lettable area of more than 140,000sqm across the site by 2027, with 41 per cent of that devoted to residential stock.

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