Gurner raises extra cash for build to rent

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GURNER and Qualitas have succeeded raising almost $1.2 billion for their GQ Build-to-Rent platform, outpacing their original target of $1 billion.

The international capital raise was oversubscribed and will now fast-track the development of the planned 1,700 apartments, while also funding further acquisitions of assets in the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane BTR market.

“The capital markets for build-to-rent right now are extremely competitive, and being able to secure this funding against such competition to launch our platform is very exciting,” said Tim Gurner, founder and director at Gurner.

The first project in the platform to launch will be the $450 million 385 apartment development at 12 Hassell Street in Parramatta.

“With majority of the capital now allocated we will soon be commencing another round of capital raising in the coming months as we look to aggressively grow the size of the fund, and as we prepare to commence construction across various projects in the next 12 months,” added Gurner.

Acquired just this month, the site spans 2,049sqm and will include 61 levels with a speculative 4,000sqm of retail and commercial space, as well as amenities and a rooftop facility.

“We are now heavily focused on the Sydney market in particular for further sites to build the portfolio. With market penetration across the eastern seaboard we can create the largest and most sought-after platform in Australia, which is certainly our ambition,” said Gurner.

The developer and the real estate investment manager, whose partnership is now more than a year old, plan to expand the platform past 5,000 apartments in a $5 billion portfolio  in the coming years.

“The build-to-rent sector is perfectly aligned to our focus on assets generating defensive and resilient cashflows and we are seeing global institutional investors increasingly allocating capital to investment strategies supported by these themes,” said Mark Fischer, global head of real estate at Qualitas.

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