Melbourne-based property developer and fund manager, OpenCorp has brought property crowdsourcing to the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn East with the launch of its new development fund.
Australian investors are being given the opportunity to invest in OpenCorp’s 70-apartment boutique development on Toorak Road, worth an estimated $40m.
The $6.5m site was acquired through an extremely competitive tender process in December 2015.
The development falls within the tightly held area of Boroondara, one of Melbourne’s most highly sought after council areas.
The tight constraints from Boroondara’s planning system mean only four per cent of the council area, which takes up 60km2 of Melbourne’s prime inner eastern suburbs, can be developed into apartments or small townhouses.
The Hawthorn East fund is the second project to be offered to investors under OpenCorp’s ‘Open Access Fund’, which allows investors to hold their money in the fund, generating a low risk return, before they allocate it into new projects as opportunities arise.
OpenCorp director Matthew Lewison says the Hawthorn East fund presents a strong option for investors in the property market, with the project forecast to achieve about 50 per cent return on equity over the next 2.5 years.
“The Hawthorn East development sits within an area with extremely high demand. Projects nearby have sold out, and we expect this boutique development to attract a huge amount of interest,” Lewison says.
The first fund to be released through the Open Access Fund, the Albion Fund, was fully subscribed, raising $6.5 million in just three weeks.
Since its launch on March 18 the Open Access Fund has drawn huge interested from Australian investors, raising $10.5m in equity in under six weeks from individual and SMSF investors.
“Australian investors are looking for new ways to take control of their financial future, and our fund gives investors access to lucrative opportunities,” Lewison says.
OpenCorp has engaged award-winning architects Rothelowman to design the development, which will be marketed towards the downsizer and owner-occupier market in the blue-chip suburb.
The development will include a ‘flexi option’ where buyers can combine two one-bedroom apartments to create a 103sqm, three-bedroom option, with upper levels likely to have city views.
With a median house price of $2.3m Hawthorn East is currently Victoria’s third most expensive suburb and has long been a sought after area for Melbourne buyers, encompassing several primary and secondary schools, prestigious private school, parks, tramlines and access to four train lines.