Canadian multinational Brookfield has made its foray into the Australian build-to-rent (BTR) market after lodging a development application for a two-tower, 560-apartment project in the Brisbane suburb of Hamilton.
The proposed $400 million project is part of the firm’s Portside Wharf precinct, and is set to comprise a building concierge, resort-style pool, podium recreation spaces, BBQ areas, health and wellness spa, co-working spaces, a gym and more.
Brookfield has roughly USD$18 billion (AUD$27 billion) in total assets under management, including 61,000 apartments - the majority of which are in the US but can also be found in Europe, Brazil and China. The company has nearly 14,000 BTR apartments under development across North America and China.
The news comes one week after Brookfield backed Australian property investment manager Centennial in a $700 million fund for last-mile logistics assets.
“Housing and affordability are strong investment thematics for Brookfield and we want to invest in them around the world including Australia where there are compelling tailwinds for these strategies,” Brookfield managing partner and head of Australia real estate Sophie Fallman said.
“We are very pleased with this opportunity to bring our deep global experience in multifamily real estate to bear in the local Australian BTR sector.
“We believe the proposed design combines the best of our global operational advantages with a strong response to the local context and will meaningfully contribute to the community of Hamilton.”
The proposal from Brookfield includes one, two and three-bedroom apartments all situated roughly 6km from Brisbane’s CBD, as well as resident amenities like a cinema, private dining rooms, resident workshop, electric vehicle charging capabilities and a dog wash.
The application by Brookfield is one of the first to be lodged under planning authority Economic Development Queensland’s (EDQ) revised Northshore Hamilton Development Scheme.
Northshore Hamilton is set for a major transformation over the next decade, with the precinct earmarked for the 2032 Olympic athletes’ village.
Brookfield residential properties managing director Lee Butterworth added that low vacancy rates in Brisbane made the development of new rental properties a significant event.
“This is a highly desirable location to live, next to the Brisbane River and with an array of dining, retail, entertainment and public transport at the doorstep,” Butterworth said.
“It is an area that has undergone significant revitalisation over the past 15 years, spearheaded by our $1.3 billion Portside Wharf mixed-use precinct. We believe the timing and BTR proposal are ideal for our final legacy in this landmark location.”
Melbourne-based architecture firm Fender Katsalidis, which has designed numerous BTR projects in Australia, was awarded the design contract for the development following a competition.
"For Build to Rent projects to succeed, it is crucial that architects provide the framework for residents to truly love where they live and connect with the neighbours,” Fender Katsalidis partner Nicky Drobis said.
“At Hamilton, we have thought deeply about the established neighbourhood and lifestyle, and the role these towers can play in this community’s bright future by integrating with the forthcoming Olympic Village."
Other companies tapping into Australia’s BTR market include multinational Greystar Real Estate Partners, which is behind a $500 million project in South Melbourne that is set to become one of the nation’s largest BTR developments. The global real estate group has even more BTR projects in the pipeline after acquiring 155 Johnston Street, Fitzroy for an undisclosed sum seven months ago.
Meanwhile, Sydney-based developer Mirvac has more than $1 billion BTR developments under construction, with the completion of 490 apartments at LIV Munro in Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market (QVM) precinct underway.
Get our daily business news
Sign up to our free email news updates.
Help us deliver quality journalism to you.
As a free and independent news site providing daily updates
during a period of unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere
we call on your support