Dickson, ACT, could see 435 new Build to Rent apartments

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Expressions of interest have closed for a potential Build to Rent site at Dickson, in inner northern Canberra, with the owners looking for buyers and investors for the 435-unit project.

The Gateway site on the corner of Northbourne Avenue and Antill Street, 4km from the Canberra CBD, currently houses an office building. With the Government tenant set to leave in November, the owners – Canberra property developers Wayne Gregory and John Russell – are looking to convert the 6250-square-metre site into a four-building Build to Rent development.

“It provides an opportunity for owner operators to purchase a turn-key development or investors to secure a prized asset with a pre-committed long-term management agreement in place with one of Australia’s leading operators,” said real estate agent CBRE.

The development would house 3,000 to 4,000 square metres of residential and 1,900 square metres of retail and commercial space, and according to Tristan Cotchett of CBRE Canberra, would be well-placed to take advantage of Canberra’s current high rental prices and low housing availability.

“We’ve had quite a few institutional groups who have expressed strong interest in the property. We’ll be looking to get one of the groups in an exclusive dealing period to negotiate a takeout structure on the 435 units, which will be in excess of the end value of $200 million-plus,” he told Riotact.

The ACT Government is promoting Build to Rent as a way to ease housing shortages and will open up a block of land in nearby Turner for a pilot project including affordable rental units.