Oxford Properties has applied to construct what will be the first large scale Build to Rent project in Sydney’s CBD – rising 39 storeys at the south entrance of the new Pitt Street metro station.
The investment is one of two which the Canadian property giant is planning for the infrastructure project’s airspace – the other, a 47,480 square metre office rising the same number of floors penned by Foster+Partners with Cox Architecture is earmarked for the north east corner of Pitt and Park streets.
Its Bates Smart designed residential asset will contain 234 apartments configured with between one and three bedrooms and each with a balcony or terrace.
The tower will also include three floors with resident-only amenity, specifically a 20 metre pool, health and well-being facilities, a lounge and multiple communal outdoor terraces, including a dedicated dining one on the rooftop.
A public restaurant forms part of the design, too.
Over time, Oxford said it intends to create a BTR platform targeting multi-family households and focusing on Sydney and Melbourne.
In February, it was reported ISPT would pay Macquarie $950m for the smaller of two offices being developed as part of the over-station redevelopment of the nearby Martin Place metro station: a 29-storey, 30,000 sqm asset known as 39 Martin Place.
However that deal did not proceed.
John Holland and Mirvac are building five structures – three of them skyscrapers – above Waterloo metro station while on the north shore, Lendlease is constructing a 40 floor office over the new Victoria Cross metro station.
All up the new infrastructure system will have 31 depots and be operational by 2024.
Oxford’s Pitt Street BTR tower
In terms of bulk, Oxford’s Sydney residential tower will spread about 20,000 sqm.
“Pitt Street metro station is a landmark project for the city and, as the first purpose-built build-to-rent building in the CBD, the south building serves as a major step forward for the residential market in Sydney,” Oxford Properties Alec Harper said.
“The residential market in Australia has been evolving in response to housing affordability, population growth and changing demographic sentiment to home ownership,” he added.
“This is driving demand for professionally managed rental residential accommodation in urban centres.
“Build-to-rent offers a more affordable and flexible solution than home ownership for many Australians but, through surety of tenure, allows residents to put down long-term roots.
“As our first project in Australia as lead developer since entering the market in December 2018, it demonstrates our commitment to creating a leading multifamily platform in Australia with a focus on our core markets of Sydney and Melbourne.”
Oxford project director, Nellie O’Keeffe added, “in line with Sydney Metro’s vision of forming a vibrant hub that will shape the city’s future, the wider Pitt Street project will deliver an enhanced midtown precinct incorporating office, retail and residential with a seamless transfer to public transport”.
“The proposed design for a premium build-to-rent development will elevate this precinct as a landmark project and create a strong sense of place.
“The successful lodgement of the south building DA is progress towards our timeline to begin construction.”
Globally Oxford giant owns 12,000 rental residential apartments and is developing BTR communities in Boston, London, New York, Toronto and Washington DC.
It plans to start its Pitt Street project next year and open it by 2023.
Oxford – a subsidiary of Canada’s OMERS pension fund rose in prominence here taking over the $4.5b portfolio of listed rival Investa Office Fund, beating Blackstone, in late 2018.
It beat Lendlease last September for the right to develop over the Pitt Street metro, part of a consortium assembled by Grocon which also includes CPB Contractors, which is responsible for the rail station component.
The group was represented by law firm Herbert Smith Freehills.
Investa Property Group was later engaged as co-development manager at Pitt Street.