18.02.2021Build to rent developer set to deliver more affordable housing

Build to rent developer Assemble continues to transform the Kensington community with its parent company Make Ventures (MAKE) acquiring a third site in the inner-city suburb,to be developed by Assemble as a mixed-income Build to Rent community.

Kris Daff, Managing Director of Assemble and Julian Anderson, Director, Bates Smart will be joining our panel session for our Meet the MP: Tim Wilson, Member for Goldstein, Chair of Standing Committee on Economics E-ROOM event on Tuesday, 30 March. Stayed tuned as registrations open Friday 26, February.

Located at 402 Macaulay Rd, Kensington, the 7,415sqm former confectionary site, currently used as a distribution centre, was recently acquired by MAKE for $30 million.

Assemble will transform the site into a new community featuring over 400 affordable rental dwellings. Some 20% of the apartments will be dedicated to social housing, delivered in partnership with a community housing provider.

The site expands Assemble’s growing build to rent portfolio, targeting low- to moderate-income households, delivering over 650 dwellings in the Kensington area alone, collectively valued in excess of $500 million, across 1.4ha.

This latest acquisition pushes Assemble’s overall development pipeline past 5,000 dwellings nationally.

Managing Director, Kris Daff said that MAKE will continue to privately acquire well located development properties which can then be made available to its institutional investment partners under its housing mandates, once those acquisitions are appropriately out of risk.

“We have been executing our strategy over the past five years of a growth-centric approach. As a result of such a large, committed pipeline of projects, we continue to attract the attention of key institutional players and construction partners that value our commitment to build to rent, particularly focused on households with essential worker incomes and below.”

Mr Daff added that the new site – its third apartment development in the Kensington community – is set to boost the local economy with some 2,200 construction jobs created across the three Kensington developments.

“This latest acquisition in Kensington meets key criteria for institutional investors with a focus on assets that offer scale and access to inner-city locations within key employment areas, heavy rail access and high-quality existing high streets.”

A planning application is currently being prepared by Kerstin Thompson Architects and Hayball. The project will span four buildings, with Assemble committing one of the buildings to Cross Laminated Timber construction, as it continues to focus on reduction in embodied carbon across its projects.

Assemble’s other key developments in Kensington area include 393 Macaulay Rd which is currently under construction, and 15 Thompson St which is currently being demolished in preparation for construction.

Both existing projects are being delivered under the developer’s innovative Assemble Futures housing model, also known as ‘rent-with-the-option-to-buy’, whereas the latest acquisition will offer dwellings that are exclusively available for rent.

The developer’s growth is in response to its significant $3 billion privately funded mixed-income rental housing portfolio —the largest of its kind in Australia.

Its existing pipeline with over 5,000 dwellings will inject $1 billion of construction activity into Victoria’s economy alone and create 8,000 construction jobs.

With currently 36 staff, the business is set to scale quickly to respond to its significant housing pipeline, more than doubling its team by 2021.

Construction of the new Macaulay Road site is anticipated to commence in 2022.

Related information

City of Melbourne’s Affordable Housing Strategy 2030

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Infrastructure to underpin the future city of Melbourne and Victoria

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Build-to-rent offers benefits to the consumer and the economy on the road to recovery from COVID-19

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Addressing Melbourne's Housing Affordability

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Submission to the City of Melbourne’s Draft Affordable Housing Strategy 2030

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Submission to the City of Melbourne’s draft Affordable Housing Strategy 2030

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