Australia’s build-to-rent sector is gaining momentum with US giant Sentinel Real Estate lodging plans for another project at Perth's beachside suburb of Scarborough.
Following its first Perth project, which Sentinel says was the "beta test" of the model in Australia, the developer has submitted a proposal for a 17,200sq m build-to-rent apartment development on the corner of West Coast Highway and Manning Street.
The proposal features a single 21-storey residential tower to sit atop a three-storey commercial podium.
Sentinel, which prefers developments of between 250 and 300 units, has opted for 175 apartments which it will develop, lease and manage itself.
The project will also provide tenants with 230 bike parking bays, 215 car parking spaces and enhanced end of trip facilities.
The proposal also includes an expansion and upgrade of the surrounding public space, as well as a small cafe and bicycle repair station.
The privately-owned New York-based group is one of the largest groups to target the nascent BTR sector in Australia alongside the likes of fellow American developer and operator Greystar and ASX-listed Mirvac.
Sentinel, which has most of its A$10 billion real estate portfolio in build-to-rent properties—or "multifamily'' assets as they are known overseas—currently has upwards of 1,000 build-to-rent apartments under various stages of development in Australia.
Sentinel Real Estate president Michael Streicker said its latest venture in Perth would be backed by five decades of expertise in build to rent development.
“We can see the local housing market and consumer mindset is evolving and there’s an opportunity to diversify housing options.
“Following the success of Element 27 in Subiaco, we know our build to rent model can deliver quality housing for more West Australians,” Streicker said.
Phase one of their three-stage Element 27 project, the first purpose-built institutional build-to-rent development in Australia, has been operational and tenanted since early 2019.
The project’s second stage is currently under construction while the third stage recently received development approval.
Sentinel acquired the three sites in the Australian Fine China precinct of Subiaco in 2015.
“Our latest project at 194 West Coast Highway will add value to Scarborough’s vibrant beachside and provide renters with a secure, engaged and premium community,” Streicker said.
Sentinel is also implementing sustainable practices across the project, targeting a 5 Star Green Star rating through the use of rainwater harvesting for onsite irrigation, deep soil planting zones and enhanced metering strategies to manage water usage.
Sentinel also has a build-to-rent project under way in West Melbourne, after picking up the 164-168 Roden Street site in 2019 for $17 million.
The project is under construction on a 3,600sq m corner site and has a permit for 157 apartments.