BTR venture seeded with Melbourne assets

The South Melbourne asset, bought on a funds through basis in 2022.

Local: Residential has seeded its first managed venture with two recently completed Build to Rent assets, all up worth $650 million.

This includes, in Box Hill, a two tower project with 425 units – a deal we reported in October.

The buildings form the residential component, and bulk of the worth, of Golden Age Group’s $360 million Sky Square, at 517-525 Station St.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Oliver Hay was the agent.

Local: Residential Turnkey Venture 1

The Local: Residential Turnkey Venture 1, as it will be known, will also hold a 405 unit BTR investment on Normanby Rd, South Melbourne.

Local picked up the asset from Michael Dib’s Blue Earth Group in 2022 on a funds through basis; the end value is speculated to be $280m.

About 10 per cent of dwellings in the 40 level building, and the Box Hill asset, are allocated for social housing.

Seeking partners for new funds

Also with a 477-unit asset under construction in north-west Kensington, Local’s BTR portfolio is worth c$1.1 billion.

“The [Local: Residential Turnkey Venture 1] venture’s strategy was to develop a portfolio of BTR developments via turnkey structure,” Local co-chief executive officer and founder, Dan McLennan, said (story continues below).

“Traditional residential developers are increasingly looking for alternatives to deliver their projects in the faltering residential pre-sale market,” he added.

“Local seeks to partner with developers to unlock their sites via BTR, providing them with a fixed take out price on completion, while leveraging Local’s design, development and property management expertise at each stage of the process,” according to the executive.

“For our investors, this means we are taking on reduced development risk and delivering a bespoke BTR project within two years versus three to four.

“The model we’re pursuing is suited to current economic conditions as our competitors have struggled against economic headwinds.

“Local believe market conditions remain highly attractive for the Australian BTR sector, with record high migration levels and ongoing low supply levels expected to continue to drive outsized rental growth.

“With a significant pipeline of turnkey opportunities across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, Local intends to continue to work with its capital partners to access these opportunities”.

Co-founder and CEO Matt Berg said it is in due diligence on other assets, for other funds.

“In addition, we are exploring opportunities to deliver affordable housing, where we believe there is a significant opportunity to deliver tangible social benefits without government subsidies,” he added.

The three year old Local is backed by Macquarie Asset Management Real Estate.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of