Plans Filed for Canberra’s First Build-to-Rent Project

One of the largest private developers in Canberra has lodged plans for a $150-million build-to-rent precinct in the former light industrial area of Braddon.

The development proposed by Evri Group is the first build-to-rent project put forward for inner-city Canberra.

The plans come as build-to-rent apartment living continues to emerge from its nascence and differentiate itself in the rental market with higher levels of amenity and services for residents.

Evri Group’s mixed-use precinct, which it wants to build, own and operate, is planned for a 1ha site on the corner of Northbourne and Wakefield avenues.

The site is currently a car park and also has a nine-storey commercial building, built in the late 1960s, and four-storey car park on it.

Designed by architects Fender Katsalidis for Canberra’s most populous suburb, the project comprises three towers over a combined basement with parking for 480 vehicles, with ground level retail and a pedestrian laneway that links to the adjacent light rail station.

It will include a variety of unit arrangements for residents and cater for short- and long-term tenancies.

The centrepiece of the development will be a 13-storey building spanning 32,000sq m and offering 333 apartments in one-, two- and three-bedroom configurations.

A 10-storey building offering 89 apartments is planned along Wakefield Avenue, positioned and designed as home offices-residences.

The developers plan to take advantage of the site’s location at the northern end of the CBD with a six-storey commercial building offering 6500sq m of office space is planned for the site’s southern sector.


▲ An artist’s impression of the proposed development at 220 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon. Image: Fender Katsalidis Architects. 

The project’s main vehicle entry point will be from Lowanna Street while a rear service lane will provide access for waste collection. The precinct’s main entry is planned for Wakefield Avenue and exit onto Northbourne Avenue.

The precinct’s amenities will include a wellness centre, yoga studio, communal rooftop gardens, resident’s swimming pool, cinema and a games and function room.

Pending approvals, the project will be built in two stages with the shorter apartment tower along Wakefield Avenue to be built first.

The project will be Evri Group’s first build-to-rent venture after operated in Canberra for 60 years.

The developer has grown from building small residential, retail and industrial buildings to larger-scale commercial office buildings including high-rise apartment buildings and business parks in recent years.

Its proposed build-to-rent project is aimed at relieving some of the ACT’s current rental crisis as the city’s vacancy rate continues to hover around 1 per cent.

Canberra has had the highest rental prices of all capital cities for almost a year with median rent, including houses and units, currently $633 a week, according to the latest figures from Corelogic.

Further north, on the city’s fringes in Denman North, Capital Estate Developments has mooted plans for a 700-apartment build-to-rent complex known as the Borough.

The precinct, which will be delivered over three stages, comprises five buildings, including shared landscaped amenity with communal spaces and provisions for temporary businesses such as pop-up food trucks.

The project’s first two stages are currently in the detailed planning and design stages, with land servicing and site works commencing this month.


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