Developers vie for QLD BTR program

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MIRVAC, Lendlease, Greystar and Australian Unity are among the groups shortlisted for the next projects as part of the Queensland government’s $70 million build-to-rent program to encourage activity in the fledgling sector.

Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Investment, Cameron Dick revealed details about the next stage in the program as he turned the first sod at Mirvac’s LIV Anura development in Newstead – the program’s first project.

Located at 60 Skyring Terrace, the project will offer 395 apartments exclusively for renters, including 25% of dwellings that will be provided at a discounted rent via a state government subsidy. The development is due for completion in 2024 will and provide 100% renewable energy to all apartments.

Final planning is underway for the commencement of construction at the second site under the program with Frasers Property Australia’s development in Fortitude Valley.

Combined, the two projects will offer 750 apartments in total, including up to 240 at a discounted rent, and are expected to create 440 jobs during construction as well as ongoing jobs as part of the management of the buildings.

“This strategy will deliver a better lifestyle for Brisbane city-based workers and their families who’ll be able to access affordable housing closer to their jobs,” Dick said. The Queensland Treasury is currently evaluating expressions of interest for two further developments, and he said Mirvac and Pacific Living have been shortlisted for the project earmarked for the site of the former Children’s Court, at state-owned 50 Quay Street in the CBD.

Lendlease, US build-to-rent giant Greystar, Australian Unity and Make Ventures have all been shortlisted for a second development to be constructed on a privately-owned site.

Mirvac has been a leader in the nation’s fledgling built-to-rent sector. Its $1.4 billion pipeline includes projects in Sydney’s Olympic Park, at Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market and in its CBD, and in the northern suburb of Brunswick.

Minister for Communities and Housing, Leeanne Enoch said the state government was “making the largest concentrated investment in social housing in Queensland’s history”.

The build-to-rent program forms part of the government’s $1.9 billion investment over four years intended to fast-track projects and initiatives to increase the supply of social and affordable housing by almost 10,000, including 7,400 new builds.

This is in addition to the establishment of the $1 billion housing investment fund.

SQM Research data showed Brisbane CBD vacancy spiked to 9.2% in June last year, but was sitting at less than half of that – at 4.5% – as of July. It had fallen to 3.9% in May and June.

Mirvac general manager, build to rent, Angela Buckley, said LIV Anura is expected to be the first project of its scale to open to residents in Brisbane. Mirvac followed Frasers Property in tweaking the design of the project earlier this year, tripling the amenity and adjusting the apartment layouts and offerings to appeal to renters.

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