Gurner, Qualitas apply for 61 storey skyscraper

The lower four levels of GQ would contain offices and shops.

Gurner and Qualitas have applied to develop a Build to Rent tower at Parramatta.

The proposal – for a 61 level complex with 385 dwellings – is in keeping with the permit that came with the 2049 square metre site, 12 Hassall Street, which they purchased last November for c$70m.

To be managed by the pair’s GQ platform, the project’s end value is speculated to be $450 million.

Approval needs to come from the NSW Design Integrity Unit.

Should it arrive as expected in December, construction will start mid-next year.

The proposal

Dwellings within the complex are designed as studios and with one, two and three bedrooms.

The asset will also include c4000 sqm of commercial area on the lower four floors – offices, some for co-working providers, and retail.

A gym, health and wellness sanctuary, indoor pool and activated rooftop, with sunken lounges, forms part of the design too.

Penned by PTW, the tower will be adorned by a 15-metre-high crown.

“Throughout the building, a substantial focus on luxury resident amenities and services will allow the GQ platform to deliver its signature amenity experience that will be unrivalled in Parramatta,” a Gurner spokesperson said.

“The project is the first Build to Rent development assessed by a State Significant Development (SSD) application under the NSW government’s Rapid Assessment Framework,” they added.

NSW short of rental stock: Tim Gurner

The application comes eight months since Gurner and Qualitas started constructing a BTR project in Melbourne’s bayside St Kilda.

“The past three years have seen a period of rapid growth and expansion for our development business across the eastern seaboard of Australia as we look to capitalise on a range of opportunities in the BTR space across the country,” company director Tim Gurner said.

“This will be our first BTR asset in New South Wales and the third in our fully-funded seed portfolio,” he added.

“We are astutely focused on NSW into the future and our aim is to grow a similar sized portfolio and team to our Melbourne office within the next five years,” according to the executive (story continues below).

“This project will be a new beacon for Parramatta and bring a new level of luxury and exceptional service to the rental market that is unmatched throughout Sydney.

“NSW is in critical need of quality rental stock, so we are confident in the BTR model as a means of delivering the urgent stock to one of Australia’s most powerful rental markets”.

Satellite city plan

Parramatta is one of six satellite Sydney regions earmarked for major development as part of a state government plan.

Liverpool, also in the west, is another.

Newcastle and Wollongong are earmarked to become major commercial hubs too.

“Sydney and its satellite cities including Parramatta continue to be a key focus for us as the recent planning regulation changes and introduction of the State Significant Development platform will pave the way for unprecedented opportunities across multiple asset classes,” Mr Gurner said.

“These recent regulation changes represent the shot in the arm that NSW needed in order to keep up with population demands while allowing it to remain competitive in comparison to other states in terms of significant development and urban revitalisation,” according to the executive.

Qualitas global head of real estate and co-founder Mark Fischer added the national residential vacancy rate is running at a historic low one per cent.

“Driven by long-term supply shortage, we expect to see more demand for multi-dwelling residential assets, and we are excited for what the Qualitas and Gurner platform can deliver, with Parramatta being our first BTR project in Sydney,” he said.

“Parramatta provides the perfect location for this type of mixed use development as the city continues its transformation into Sydney’s second city,” according to the executive.

“The GQ development in Parramatta will be perfectly positioned to capture population growth and local demand for market-leading residential and mixed use amenities.

“Recent changes in global markets with a backdrop of rising interest rates and increasing inflation has driven renewed interest from our investor base to support the GQ platform.

“We see a multi-decade opportunity in the BTR sector and expect this to accelerate during current market conditions, which is being recognised with significant pools of global capital engaging with GQ – one of the few BTR groups that has executed in the space with a clear strategy and value proposition”.

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Marc Pallisco

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