Greystar swoops on two more Melbourne BTR sites

The Fitzroy block is earmarked for a c10 level building.

Greystar has purchased two more Melbourne Build to Rent sites.

In inner north Fitzroy, the US-based property giant has picked up the Streamline Print factory, technically known as 155 Johnston Street, where it has a crossover, but with predominant frontage to Argyle and Young streets.

Over 400 dwellings in multiple buildings are planned at 352-400 Macaulay Road (also, image, top).

About 400 dwellings, possibly above retail and in a c10 storey building, are earmarked for the 2562 square metre Commercial 1 zoned block.

The project’s end value is estimated at c$350 million.

“This was a rare opportunity to secure a site suitable for BTR in the heart of Fitzroy,” Greystar Australia’s chief executive officer, Chris Keys, said.

Greystar recently started constructing a South Melbourne Build to Rent project with three towers.

“It is a highly sought-after neighbourhood for many reasons and until now has remained untapped by the BTR market,” he added.

“It is undoubtedly a suburb that is full of some of the city’s best retail stores, galleries, bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes – and we look forward to being able to extend the lifestyle options in the area with an exciting rental proposition for future residents,” according to the executive.

JLL’s Josh Rutman, Tim Carr, Jesse Radisich and MingXuan Li listed the property, also known as 122-144 Argyle St, in May; the guide was $20m-plus.

Another Kensington BTR project

Meanwhile, Greystar is planning a similar valued project on a larger Kensington site near the Macaulay station, for which it is paying a speculated $50m.

At 352-400 Macaulay Rd, over 400 dwellings are proposed (story continues below).

The Kensington project will contain ground floor retail and a pocket park.

The land is within the Macaulay urban renewal zone, which, much like one affecting the nearby Arden precinct, encourages high density residential in place of industrial.

Hines in February purchased a Macaulay Road, North Melbourne, site, for a Build to Rent project.

Greystar is intending structures up to eight storeys, ground floor retail and a pocket park.

The property neighbours an 8803 sqm parcel which Macquarie backed Local acquired a year ago with plans for c420 BTR dwellings in six buildings.

This part of Kensington, near the North Melbourne border, is about a kilometre from the proposed Arden station, part of the Metro Tunnel project, which will connect to South Yarra’s Domain via the University of Melbourne and biotechnology precinct, and two CBD stops.

“Demand for high quality rental housing in inner urban areas continues to grow as vacancy rates across Australia’s capital cities reach record lows,” a Greystar statement said.

“The latest Greystar acquisitions add to the existing pipeline in Melbourne, with approximately 2000 BTR units set to be delivered across four projects, providing greater security of tenure for residents and increasing the supply of rental properties in key inner-ring suburbs,” it added.

Earlier this month, the South Carolina group, established by Bob Faith 30 years ago next year – kicked off a South Melbourne BTR project.

It is also behind a South Yarra development of this type.

Last week, Greystar made its maiden Australian industrial acquisitions – five east coast sites including, in Melbourne, at West Footscray.

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Marc Pallisco

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