Nightingale’s $1.2m Bill Waived on Sydney BtR Project


Nightingale and Fresh Hope’s Marrickville build-to-rent project has received a $1.2-million vote of confidence after the Inner West Council agreed to waive the discretionary developer contribution. 

It has been a challenging path forward for the Victorian affordable housing developer with a bun fight with the council over the heritage value of the site, formerly a church, and a looming discretionary contribution levy of more than $1 million threatening to derail the project. 

Last year the developer’s former chief executive Jeremy McLeod told The Urban Developer the estimated legal fees, time and developer levy would add about $32,000 to the cost of each proposed build-to-rent apartment.

The affordable housing project on the site of the disused church at 389 Illawarra Road is being developed in partnership with FreshHope Housing Incorporated.

The initial development application was rejected by the council in 2019, and then successfully appealed in the NSW Land and Enviornment Court at the end of 2020.

It’s Nightingale’s first project in Sydney and a testbed for its “teilhaus” design as a build-to-rent offering in the 54-apartment development at Marrickville. 

▲ Nightingale’s Teilhaus apartments, German for ‘part of the house’, use small footprint design to create economic and sustainable developments with communal facilities.

In a LinkedIn post this week the developer posted a “heartfelt shout out” to Inner West Council and Mayor Darcy Byrne who agreed to waive the $1.2-million discretionary developer contribution fee. 

“We know it’s not an easy thing for councils to forgo revenue but this was an encouraging decision and we believe will have a lasting impact not just on this project but on those future projects that we hope it will inspire,” the statement said. 

“We hope Nightingale Marrickville, made possible with Inner West Council’s support, sets a precedent for similar innovative housing projects across the country.

“It’s one innovative response to Australia’s broken housing market, utilising under-used inner city land to increase access to affordable, quality housing.”

The 54 small-footprint apartments are due to be completed at the end of this year and will be rented out at below-market rates via a balloting process later this year. 


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