GURNER, Qualitas build-to-rent platform secures 3,650+ apartments across Australia

GURNER, Qualitas build-to-rent platform secures 3,650+ apartments across Australia

Render of GQ's 350-apartment BTR development in Fitzroy North (Provided)

A build-to-rent (BTR) management platform owned by luxury lifestyle developer GURNER and alternative asset manager Qualitas (ASX: QAL) has revealed today it has a pipeline of 3,650-plus apartments on its books as it looks to strengthen its foothold in the burgeoning sector.  

The news comes three months after the Melbourne-headquartered partners revealed they secured a $2 billion capital injection from offshore institutional investors for GQ Multifamily, having previously raised $1.2 billion in late 2021.

GQ has two sites currently under construction in Melbourne’s St Kilda and Southbank, with a further two to start construction by the end of 2023 in Parramatta and Fitzroy North.

Created with the aim to become the nation’s leading BTR manager, GQ has an existing portfolio of 1,400-plus apartments, with a secured pipeline of a further 3,500 units. Current gross funds under management total $3.2 billion.

Of the secured units, GQ has 2,150 apartments in its pipeline, including:

  • Southbank – 400 approx.
  • St Kilda – 280 approx.
  • Parramatta – 400 approx.
  • Fitzroy North – 350 approx.
  • Docklands - 550 approx.
  • South Melbourne – 450 approx.
  • Melbourne Inner East – 400 approx.
  • Brisbane – 350 approx.

“We have been working hard behind the scenes to quietly build a very large platform that allows us to offer a unique product and offering to our customers and our valued capital partners,” Gurner said.

“Our access to capital and shovel-ready sites mean we are able to move quickly and rapidly build on our portfolio. Our aim is to have 5,000 apartments worth $5 billion under management by 2026 and we are well on the way to achieving this and to exceeding it.

“The GQ platform now has a number of key projects either commenced or soon to commence across four major growth markets in Melbourne and Sydney – we’re armed with fresh capital, and we’re always on the lookout for quality acquisitions in these major capital cities.”

GQ has also announced demolition works at Fitzroy North site at 26 – 56 Queens Parade have kicked off, with full construction expected to commence in the coming months.

Originally acquired by GURNER, the 7,990sqm site is a project that has been strategically redeployed into GQ as it was decided that BTR was a stronger long-term play.

Upon completion, the site will be home to more than 600 people.

The site will include a ground floor activation, a residents’ gym, Porte Cochere entrance, car and bike sharing facilities, a business lounge with private dining and co-working space, dog and car wash and ground floor retail.

Today’s announcement comes two months after the GURNER and Qualitas were granted fast-tracked approval to proceed with a $450 million mixed-use tower in Paramatta, which will deliver 390 apartments across 61 levels.

“Our position in this sector is driven by the extremely strong and long-term underlying fundamentals combined with our market-leading management proposition to large-scale global capital,” Qualitas global head of real estate and co-founder Mark Fischer.

“We are favourable to the residential sector compared to all others as it is perfectly aligned to investors focus on assets generating defensive and resilient cashflows through all economic cycles.

“These through cycle structural drivers of the sector make GQ Multifamily well positioned to deliver much needed apartment stock, specifically across the eastern seaboard of Australia as well as providing additional services to these locations as part of the projects being delivered – which is central to the vision for the platform offering – along with high quality amenity.”

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. In late 2022, the company also completed LIV Munro - a 490-apartment project in Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market (QVM).

Other players entering the space include Cedar PacificCadillac FairviewSentinel Real Estate Corporation, and super fund HESTA.

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