Minor Hotels is making a foray into the Build to Rent (BTR) market with the launch of a Sydney accommodation, under its full-service property arm, Mint Residential.
Citiscape by Mint Residential, located in Rockdale, officially opened on Thursday December 14, offering a collection of furnished studio apartments and communal facilities.
Owned by Argentum Group and managed by Minor Hotels, the AU$20 million development is designed to offer would-be tenants a flexible alternative to the traditional apartment rental agreement.
Minor Hotels Australia, and New Zealand Chief Operating Officer, Craig Hooley, said entering the BTR is “the right move” for the business – at the right time.
“Given our extensive experience in the management of over 60 hotels across Australia and New Zealand, and the current strong demand for quality rental housing within Australia, we believe entering the BTR space is the right move,” Hooley said.
“Australia is observing a growing trend in the BTR model in response to the shortfall of quality housing supply and growing increases in rent. Driven by lifestyle and affordability reasons, there has been an increasing shift towards rental accommodation, with the traditional ‘Australian mindset’ of renting being merely a steppingstone to home ownership, changing.”
Speaking exclusively to HM, Hooley said there will be many more BTR agreements in the future for Minor Hotels, with the business eager to leverage the team’s property management expertise from its medium-long term rental operations.
“We are targeting to grow our BTR portfolio in all key city locations Australia wide and are already in advanced discussions,” Hooley said.
“We anticipate that Citiscape by Mint Residential will be the first of a wider portfolio of BTR property assets managed by Minor Hotels; an area in which we have expertise and a desire to grow.”
The project is also a first for Argentum Group, with several other projects under review focusing on BTR, affordable housing and build-to-lease residential.
“We are excited to be partnering with Minor Hotels and their Mint Residential team on this first asset,” said Argentum Group Managing Director, Nelson Silva.
“With over 20 years’ experience in delivering quality projects, it was important for us that with our first internally owned project we partner with an experienced operator.
“It’s increasingly difficult to deliver quality product in such superb locations in today’s market, but through careful site selection, meticulous planning, and a strong relationship with local council, we were able to make this project work.”
All apartments are owned by Argentum Group, rather than individual investors, and offer secure short or long-term leases starting from three months and ranging up to 3+ years, starting from AU$600 per week.
Hooley said this flexibility is necessary to meet the changing demands of tenants.
“Minor Hotels believes people’s lives are evolving to become less structured between their work life and their personal life as well as what they determine as home,” Hooley told HM.
“By offering all styles of accommodation from traditional short stay to long-term letting we are better able to support the choices of our customers.”
Designed with power-saving measures for energy efficient living, the studio apartments are available either fully furnished as an instant walk-in home, or unfurnished, with utilities packages available.
The property features a welcoming lobby, open-air rooftop and entertainment area with city skyline and coastline views, as well as a residents’ community room, that can be used for work, study or collaboration.
Located adjacent to Rockdale station, Hooley expects residents to love the convenient location.
“We believe that the greatest demand for accommodation is inner city locations close to public transport,” Hooley told HM.
The community-focused development offers regular in-house activities, facilitated by the onsite management, to help residents build stronger connections.
“More than simply apartment buildings, Citiscape by Mint Residential will offer a true sense of community where residents will make strong connections with their neighbours,” said Hooley.
“In a period where the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has reported an increasing number of Australians experiencing feelings of loneliness, this new Rockdale property has community at its core and is a place where all can feel welcome and create meaningful friendships.”