Singaporean co-living operator Hmlet has partnered with a Sydney developer to launch four new co-living properties as it beefs up its Australian pipeline.
Parramatta developer Revelop will reposition three properties for Hmlet to operate as co-living assets, and develop a 9-storey purpose-built tower in Harris Park to serve as the company’s flagship for the western suburbs.
The three existing assets—in Mays Hill in Sydney’s west, Petersham in Sydney’s inner west and Balgowlah in the city’s northern beaches—will add close to 100 beds to Hmlet’s Australian pipeline.
The 41-bed Harris Park project will be the first co-living property designed to spec in Australia for Hmlet and provide it with a strategic foothold in the Parramatta business district.
Hmlet Australia managing director Chrystan Paul told The Urban Developer that Hmlet is not in the business of acquiring or owning real estate.
“We partner with investors and developers to acquire or to activate assets they already have,” Paul said.
“The Revelop deal is significant because it’s the first time we’ve done a multi-deal with a developer and we are hoping to do more with other developers going forward.”
Paul said that Hmlet was in the process of partnering with a capital partner to acquire assets in Melbourne, with an announcement set for later in the year.
Investors in the Singaporean-headquartered Hmlet include Germany’s Burda Principal Investments, Indian venture capital giant Sequoia and Westpac-backed fund Reinventure.
On entering the Australian market, Hmlet acquired start-up Caper Co-Living—which was co-founded by Chrystan Paul—with the operator taking over two Caper projects in Newtown and Marrickville.
To date, Hmlet has close to 200 rooms in operation in Sydney across four co-living properties, with the Hmlet model delivering three real estate types in Australia.
“Of Hmlet’s eight [Australian] assets we have three different types of real estate—new generation boarding houses which are purpose-built for co-living like in Harris Park and we are operating in the build-to-rent environment—we have an asset in Marrickville that offers 32 two and three-bed traditional residential apartments.”
“And the third type [of residences] are terraces, which we have operating in Paddington and Alexandria.”
Paul said that acquiring existing assets allows Hmlet to be “operator-focused” and gain data-driven insights into how its members live.
“This in turn will be used to create purpose-built properties on the back of real data that we’ve gained over the last few years of operating different types of properties.”
The Revelop deal was brokered by JLL NSW director of sales Dylan McEvoy and alternative investments associate Thomas Madigan.
Hmlet operates 75 properties in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and is soon to launch in Japan, with a 2,400-bed pipeline by the end of 2019.