Canadian-based property investment colossus Brookfield has been given the green light for its proposed $400-million debut into Australia’s rapidly emerging build-to-rent sector.
Economic Development Queensland has paved the way for the global big-hitter’s entrance into the market, granting approval for a 560-apartment project on Brisbane’s riverfront.
Comprising two 23-storey towers, the development will rise from Brookfield’s $1.3-billion Portside Wharf precinct at Hamilton in the city’s inner-north.
The developer and asset manager lodged its development application in May last year under EDQ’s Northshore Hamilton Priority Development Area scheme.
The build-to-rent play signals the maturing of the burgeoning asset class in Australia and is a coup for the Queensland capital as it continues to grapple with a housing supply shortage and rental vacancies lingering around 1 per cent.
Brookfield is one of the world’s biggest multi-family/build-to-rent asset owners. It has more than $US18 billion and 60,000 apartments under management in the sector globally.
Under the plans for its first Australian build-to-rent foray, a mix of studio, one, two and three-bedroom options will be included in the 560 apartments.
The Fender Katsalidis-designed towers will sit on a shared podium and be set on opposing diagonals to maximise views for residents while minimising visual bulk.
“The vision is to cultivate a sustainable and immersive green living environment … to redefine the benchmark for subtropical living,” the documents said.
“A defining element of the development proposal is its overtly ‘green’ public realm … with cues from a subtropical gorge.
“A deep green planting threshold surrounds the built form to create subtropical streets.”
According to the DA, the development also will provide “a wide range of recreational facilities …[to] provide an exceptional urban lifestyle not only for Portside BtR residents but also the broader Hamilton community”.
The upper podium is described as “the beating heart” of the planned build-to-rent community, including a lagoon pool, poolside daybeds, wellness facilities, garden lounges, outdoor kitchens and dining areas, kids playground, lawns and various internal entertainment spaces.
Other features include a concierge and co-working spaces to complement the retail and cafe district in the neighbourhood.
On top of the two towers, rooftop terraces will overlook the Brisbane River with the edges framed by low cascading plants and central gardens.
Upriver from the planned 2032 Olympic Athletes’ Village at Northshore Hamilton, the site at 11-23 Macarthur Avenue spans the former cruise ship terminal that Brookfield developed, owned and operated for 15 years before its closure with the opening in June 2022 of the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal downstream at Pinkenba.
Later the same year, Brookfield revealed it would splash $20 million on Portside Wharf to lure the local community back to the restaurant and cinema precinct.
Brookfield already has developed several buildings comprising hundreds of apartments in the precinct, which is the first stage of one of Brisbane’s largest urban renewal projects.
On completion, the Northshore Hamilton PDA will extend about 2.5km along the Brisbane River to the Gateway Bridge and occupy a total of 304 hectares.