Gurner moots build-to-rent for Parramatta

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PROLIFIC developer Tim Gurner and real estate investment manager Qualitas has submitted plans for their first build-to-rent development in Sydney, a $540 million tower will soar 61 storeys above the Parramatta CBD.

Gurner and Qualitas picked up the 2,049 sqm 12 Hassall Street property late last year. The site is next to the Growthpoint-owned offices of NSW Police on Charles Street, close to Parramatta train station and a short distance from Walker Corporation’s $3.2 billion Parramatta Square precinct.

Plans are for 385 apartments across a product mix ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments, and is being designed by architecture and interior design practice PTW.

A 15 metre-high “crown” will sit atop the building.

The ground floor plane opens into a resident lobby framed by 4,000 sqm of commercial and retail over four levels, alongside a café and co-working space.

High-end amenities include a health and wellness sanctuary, gym, indoor lap pool and an expansive, sky-high rooftop pool and deck complete with sunken lounges on level 61.

“The past three years have seen a period of rapid growth and expansion for our development business across the eastern seaboard of Australia as we look to capitalise on a range of opportunities in the build-to-rent space across the country.

“NSW is in critical need of quality rental stock, so we are confident in the build-to-rent model as a means of delivering this urgent stock to one of Australia’s most powerful rental markets,” Gurner said.

The plans have been lodged as a large supply shortage in build-to-sell apartments is set to hit Sydney over the next few years.

“With the national vacancy rate running at a historical low of 1%, we continue to see enormous opportunities in the residential market and for build-to-rent,” said Qualitas global head of real estate and co-founder Mark Fischer, adding that, “we see a multi-decade opportunity in the build-to-rent sector and expect this to accelerate during current market conditions”.

“Parramatta provides the perfect location for this type of mixed-use development as the city continues its transformation into Sydney’s second city.

The project is the first build-to-rent development assessed as a State Significant Development (SSD) application under the NSW government’s Rapid Assessment Framework.

“These recent regulation changes represent the shot in the arm that NSW needed in order to keep up with population demands while allowing it to remain competitive in comparison to other states in terms of significant development and urban revitalisation,” Gurner said.

The project will be part of the GQ platform and the third in a fully-funded seed portfolio.

Planning approval is expected in December, with construction due to commence mid-2023.

Gurner said his company’s aim is to grow a similar-sized portfolio and team to its Melbourne office within the next five years. The company its first Sydney office in May, taking up the Paddington offices formerly used by high-profile PR specialist Roxy Jacenko.

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