29 Feb 2024

Cbus Property forges ahead on affordable housing but not build-to-rent, CEO Adrian Pozzo says


As reported in The Australian on 29 February 2024

Superannuation-backed heavyweight Cbus Property is forging deeper into affordable housing with plans to make it a key element of a luxury North Sydney project but remains sceptical about the merits of the build-to-rent wave sweeping the industry.

The group is looking to capitalise on NSW laws which allow major developments that devote 10 per cent of their space to affordable housing to get faster approvals and more space and height.

Affordable units in the three building project at the corner of Walker and Hampden Streets in North Sydney, would be offered at around 20-25 per cent below market rates.

New planning rules introduced a floor space bonus of up to 30 per cent and a height bonus of up to 30 per cent for residential developments with at least 10 per cent affordable housing. The apartment blocks will have 263 apartments and four basement car park levels.

Cbus Property chief executive Adrian Pozzo said that the developer’s initial plans had been rejected on separate grounds but the project had been redesigned to meet new requirements, with about 70 affordable units planned.

He said the project would test the new legislation but is hoping for a broader uptake of the idea. “All of Australia has been talking about mixed use developments … hopefully this will be the first one in New South Wales that meets the new requirements.”

Cbus Property’s apartment project in Sydney’s Randwick has an affordable element but he wants to see it more broadly. “We should consider it for every development, because that will hopefully alleviate the lack of housing in Australia,” he said.

The new proposal features three-buildings spanning five to 28 storeys and include a total of 263 apartments, of which 30 per cent will be set aside for affordable housing. Designed by Rothelowman, the shortest of the buildings will also offer rooftop communal open space for residents.

But Mr Pozzo said earlier this month the group would not be chasing the increasingly popular build-to-rent sector, committing to build-to-sell products, stating the returns of the sector are not stacking up in the current environment.

“We can’t get our minds around the BTR concept and its return parameters,” he said, as he is concerned about skyrocketing rents. “So there will come a time when build-to-sell and build-to-rent starts to equate, and people are going to start buying again.”

Article in The Australian, first published on 29 February 2024

Related News

View News