Construction Industry in Australia Soars to New Heights with Record Crane Activity
Australia’s construction industry is on an exhilarating journey marked by a remarkable…
10 May 2023
Queensland is turning to build-to-rent developments to help solve the housing crisis and meet the needs of an anticipated population growth of almost a million ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games. Four proposed residential towers comprising over 1,000 purpose-built build-to-rent apartments have been revealed in two new development applications lodged with the Brisbane City Council. As part of the Queensland government’s build-to-rent pilot project, private equity-backed Cedar Pacific has teamed up with build-to-rent management specialist Essence Communities on a planned 32-storey two-wing tower at the state-owned site of the former Children’s Court at 50 Quay Street. To secure an affordable housing component, the state government offered a rent subsidy to successful bidders for the pilot projects, which also include Frasers Property at 210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, and Mirvac at 60 Skyring Terrace, Newstead.
Cedar Pacific’s proposal would include 475 studio, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments across levels five to 29, of which 250 would be delivered as affordable rental accommodation. Communal spaces totalling 3420sq m are proposed within the podium and roof level. They would include a cinema, games area, dog spa and breakout space on the ground floor, gym on level 1-2, co-working space on level 3, and a rooftop pool, common room, barbeque facilities, outdoor dining and private dining room. The design is seeking a five-star green star rating and comprises 1129sq m of outdoor open space paired with semi-outdoor spaces and subtropical planting at different levels.
Another development application has been lodged to alter an existing development approval for a three-tower, mixed-use proposal over a 3009sq m site at 186 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley, into a build-to-rent play. Brisbane-based Vita has filed the proposal. The existing approval is for two residential towers of 23 and 30 storeys comprising 324 apartments and a 25-storey hotel tower with 198 rooms. Under the revised development plans, it would comprise 628 build-to-rent apartments as well as ground-floor retail space.
“The proposed changes have been driven by the current state of the rental market and the demand for rental supply in this location,” a submitted planning assessment report said. “It is very clear that south-east Queensland, much like the rest of Australia, is facing an unprecedented housing and rental supply shortage, lacking appropriate housing products for a variety of selected populations and their socio-economic status.” The scheme includes a pocket park fronting Ranwell Lane, elevated outdoor terraces with pools, onsen spa, sun lounges, sauna, outdoor cooking and dining areas, and a fire pit lounge. The development will be integrated via an activated ground floor plaza, hosting a retail arcade for pedestrians from Wickham Street through to Ranwell Lane.
The federal government recently halved the controversial Managed Investment Trust withholding tax, which will be dropped from 30% to 15%, for build-to-rent in a move to boost housing supply and in line with purpose-built student accommodation assets. The latest build-to-rent proposals are aimed at providing affordable accommodation for low to moderate-income earners alongside market rental apartments.