Hines buys first Australian Build to Rent site

Hines is intending about a 250 unit Build to Rent project at 10 Ballarat Street.

Hines has chosen Brunswick for its first Australian Build to Rent project.

The US-based developer and investor is paying $16.5 million for 10 Ballarat Street – off Sydney Road, near Sparta Place.

Artist’s impression of the office Hines is building in Collingwood.

More than 250 apartments are planned for the 4247 square metre Mixed Use zoned site.

The vendor, Goal Property, which paid $11.975m in 2017, offered it permit-ready for an eight level complex with 163 dwellings.

Colliers’ Oliver Hay, Trent Hobart and Hamish Burgess were the agents.

10 Ballarat Street

Hines holds significant BTR product overseas.

In June, it appointed ex-Grocon Home executive, Sam Bisla as Head of Living, to grow its local portfolio.

“We are very excited to announce our first BTR project in Australia,” the company’s senior managing director and country head of Australia, David Warneford said.

“Hines has deep global expertise in residential and BTR development, operations and investment management, with substantial platforms in the US and Europe,” the executive added.

Victoria’s BTR pipeline grows

Several major players have entered Victoria’s BTR sector since mid-2019.

Mirvac holds a site in Brunswick earmarked for a project of this type – it is intending 527 dwellings in a 10-storey Albert St complex.

This developer is also planning two assets of this nature in the CBD – at the ex-Melbourne Convention Centre, and abutting the Queen Victoria Market.

Greystar, which like Hines is US-based, last year outlaid $65m for a South Melbourne parcel permit-ready for 722 apartments in three towers (story continues below).

Investa in partnership with Oxford has also snapped up land for BTR assets – including a former publicly held property in Footscray, where 770 dwellings are earmarked.

At nearby Spotswood, Suleman Group has designed 334 units within a $285m mixed-use village.

A little closer to town, in Kensington, Make Ventures has a couple of these investments planned.

Grocon, with GIC, is also planning a product of this type on the ex-Richmond Plaza site, in the inner-east.

Elsewhere in Brunswick

The Ballarat St block is near a parcel – 17-19 Hope St – which sold to a residential developer last week.

Elsewhere in the suburb, in April, Canberra’s Molonglo Group and Aesop founder Dennis Paphitis spent $17m on the Brunswick Market at 655-661 Sydney Rd.

That block spreads 3059 sqm and is earmarked for a mixed-use project with apartments.

Seven months ago and after nearly a year on the market, a 3697 sqm Sydney Rd investment containing an Australia Post and Bunnings traded to an interstate buyer for $13.8m.

Early last year Stockland outlaid $15m on a 4010 sqm apartment site in Albert St, near Mirvac’s BTR proposal.

Hines manages $160.9 billion worth of real estate across 27 countries.

In Collingwood, it is constructing an uber-green office on a plot acquired for $28.5m in 2019.

Seven months ago it paid Landream c$200m for a CBD site earmarked for a Zaha Hadid hotel.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.