Williamstown Road and its continuation Normanby Road cutting through Fishermans Bend in Port Melbourne and South Melbourne may seem unimpressive on the surface, but developers are seeing the potential.
Melbourne-based build-to-rent platform Local Residential has just begun construction on its second project in the city, at 247 Normanby Road in South Melbourne.
The project will comprise a 40-storey tower with 406 apartments under plans by CHT Architects.
Local bought the site from developer Blue Earth Group and Hamilton Marino has been appointed as the builders.
Amenities will include a pool, exercise studios, private dining rooms, co-working spaces and green spaces as well as a cinema, resident lounge, pet wash bays, karaoke room, a golf simulator room, instrument practice room and a games room.
The ground floor will have space for a bar or cafe and retail spaces with a concierge, while the roof will have a large solar array to provide renewable energy.
The building will be fully electric and net zero emission in operation.
Local has a goal of 5000 apartments in its pipeline or completed by 2025.
“For the build-to-sell developers we are working with on these projects, we are able to provide an opportunity to realise projects with effectively a 100 per cent pre-sale and financing solution at a time when the off-the-plan purchaser market is not there for large developments and may not be for some time,” Local co-chief executive Dan McLennan said.
The South Melbourne project was valued at $280 million in May 2022 when Local received approval for amended plans for the project. NAB is financing the project.
“South Melbourne was our first turnkey acquisition at Local which we have recently followed up with our acquisition at Box Hill,” McLennan said.
“There is an art to identifying, structuring, and executing these deals and certainly its considerably more work up front than buying a site.”
Developer R.Iconic has projects next door with one vacant site at 259 Normanby Road and another constructed tower next to it.
That tower will now have a Coles supermarket space on the ground floor ensuring the street has amenities within walking distance for residents.
Further down Normanby Road towards the South Melbourne end are two recently developed hotels, the AC by Marriott developed by Capital Alliance, and the Oakwood Premier Melbourne hotel.
Almost directly across from Local’s project is The Canopy by Gamuda Land a mixed-use project with 200 build-to-sell apartments.
Local has two other projects in Melbourne: one in Box Hill on top of Golden Age Group's retail podium Sky SQR and one in Kensington on Macaulay Road.