Novus snaps up another Melbourne BTR site

The multi-level car park at 2 Bowen Crescent.

Novus, a Build to Rent platform backed by David Southon’s Aliro Group, has picked up a permit-ready site near the Shrine of Remembrance.

The Bowen & Queens proposal has been shelved.

The 1864 square metre block – a disused six storey, 463-bay car park, at 2 Bowen Crescent, is speculated to be costing over $25 million.

Wuzhong International was the seller; since buying the property in 2015, it won approval for a 19 storey apartment complex with 214 dwellings.

For four years, it has been marketing units in that $160m Plus Architecture designed development off-the-plan – branding it Bowen & Queens (artist’s impression, top).

Novus will instead construct the permitted project as an investment – but with 212 dwellings.

To be known as Novus on Bowen, it will also be all-electric.

Elsewhere in Melbourne, the group in 2021 paid $20.25m for an 1821 sqm block at 153-159 Sturt Street, Southbank, permit-ready for an 18 storey tower with 141 dwellings.

That seller was Rothelowman which occupied a low rise office on the property as its headquarters.

In Sydney, meanwhile, where it is headquartered, Novus controls BTR development sites at Chatswood and Parramatta – the latter where a 34 storey tower is planned.

2 Bowen Crescent

Novus’ latest site, classified as Melbourne with a postcode 3004, but actually four kilometres south of the CBD, is near the Anzac station, due to open in 2025 and connect the area to North Melbourne via Parkville (story continues below).

Daniel Grollo’s Home purchased 6-9 Queens Road for a Build to Rent project.

The proposed $250m tower will seed the Novus Build to Rent Trust, an investment vehicle which last May won the backing of M&G Real Estate.

Altis and Aware Super bought 50-52 Queens Road for a Build to Rent investment.

“The tailwinds driving the growth of the BTR sector in Australia continue to grow with increasing government support for the sector and record low vacancy rates,” Novus chief executive officer, Adam Hirst, said.

“The existing location already benefits from proximity to Melbourne CBD, adjacency to both the Botanic Gardens and Albert Park and fantastic surrounding amenity,” the group’s chief development officer, Jason Goldworthy, added.

“These fundamentals align perfectly with our mid-scale convenience-based BTR model,” according to the executive.

The company’s four BTR projects are expected to carry a c$1b end value.

Elsewhere in Melbourne, 3004, Daniel Grollo’s Home, backed by GIC, in April paid $80m for the outgoing Eden on the Park at 6-9 Queens Road, while Altis and Aware Super in 2021 outlaid $65m for the former Bayview on the Park, at #50-52 in the street.

Both properties were divested by Oriental Holdings.

Each is earmarked for a BTR project.

Last May, meanwhile, US-based Hines outlaid c$40m for a 3366 sqm parcel covering 15-37 Bank St, South Melbourne, with plans to build 400 BTR units.

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Marc Pallisco

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