Assemble to transform Australia’s Kensington community with new BTR development

Build to Rent developer – Assemble – is set to deliver more Build to Rent housing in Kensington, Victoria in Australia.

Kensington village - to be transformed with new BTR development - Assemble | BTR News
Kensington village - to be transformed with new BTR development by Assemble.

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

The new Build to Rent development is located at 402 Macaulay Road, Kensington – and is the 7,415 sqm former confectionary site, currently used as a distribution centre. The site was recently acquired by MAKE for $30m. 

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. Construction of the new site is anticipated to start in 2022. 

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 $500m, 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.” 

Kris Daff, Managing Director, MAKE 

Mr Daff added that the new site – its third apartment development in the Kensington community – is set to boost the local economy by creating around 2,200 construction jobs 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.” 

Kris Daff, Managing Director, MAKE 

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 the Kensington area include 393 Macaulay Road which is currently under construction, and 15 Thompson Street 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 Build to Rent.

Assemble’s growth is in response to its significant $3bn privately funded mixed- income rental housing portfolio —the largest of its kind in Australia. Its existing pipeline with over 5,000 dwellings will inject $1bn 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.