Development prospects in Sydney are “stacking up” against Melbourne and Brisbane as Gurner and Qualitas turn their attention to multiple residential projects across the city.
The partnership has acquired the former Parramatta PCYC at 12 Hassall Street for about $70 million, taking over from Toplace and building on the developer’s 2017 plans for the site.
The new owners are planning a $450-million mixed-use project near Sydney’s second CBD with 385 apartments across 61 levels, a rooftop bar, and 4000sq m of retail and commercial space.
Toplace originally picked up the property for about $33 million in 2016 and had plans for a 61-storey development with a four-storey podium.
Demolition of the existing building on the 2049sq m space was approved in 2017 in anticipation of a new development.
Gurner director Tim Gurner said this project would be the first of many as they looked to grow their build-to-sell and build-to-rent portfolio in Sydney and wider NSW.
“For a long time the development fundamentals in Sydney didn’t stack up against Melbourne and Brisbane but, looking ahead, Sydney will be a key strategic focus for us in the coming years as the environment is now much more conducive to development sites that fit our model,” Gurner said.
“We set out about 12 months ago to align ourselves with the Sydney market and within a short period of time we’ve established an office, acquired our first major site and have a number of other opportunities in our sights.”
Qualitas global head of real estate Mark Fischer said they have been in Sydney for over a decade and this was the perfect location to invest in for a mixed-use development continuing their partnership with the developer.
“Parramatta has shown resilience through the changing environment post pandemic and with movement of people across states and cities in Australia, this development is perfectly positioned to capture population growth in this area,” he said.
“As the precinct continues its transformation into Sydney’s second city, our partnership with Gurner allows us to deliver market-leading product quality across residential, retail, and commercial, including premium amenity and a rooftop facility.”
In late 2020 Qualitas committed up to $150 million in equity for Gurner with to buy new assets with the parties splitting the development profits equally.
They were originally looking at distressed assets in Melbourne and build-to-rent projects.
In September 2021, they teamed up with Newmark Capital to Melbourne’s Jam Factory into a $1.5-billion mixed-use precinct.