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Image displays the exterior of the Sentinel Subiaco complex, including trees and an artwork piece in the foreground

A $100 million apartment building at Bowden is set to flip Adelaide’s rental market on its head, coupling 5-star amenities with longer lease terms to give tenants choice and control over their living arrangements.

Global property giant Sentinel will deliver the premium Build-to-Rent (BTR) project – the first of its kind in South Australia – on Third Street, after achieving tremendous success with the housing model overseas and across other parts of Australia.

The BTR model, which sees entire buildings professionally managed, leased and owned by a single operator, is a phenomenon in the US and Europe, and is already a major disruptor interstate. It is expected to have a similar impact locally, delivering greater outcomes for tenants in a market traditionally geared towards results for landlords.

While tenants in BTR properties generally pay higher rents, they receive longer-term leases over high-quality apartments, in premium locations. The rolling rents cover maintenance of included whitegoods, and tenants enjoy a string of in-house conveniences, including the ability to bring their pets.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Nick Champion said the introduction of this new asset class to the South Australian market would reinvent renting, making long-term renting a genuine, secure housing option that provided more choice for residents across various life stages.

“The Build-to-Rent sector is emerging as another way to help address housing shortages and ease the rental squeeze,” Minister Champion said.

The development will deliver close to 250 rental accommodation options in a tight market. Sentinel’s well-established and tested approach will provide renters with a more streamlined and transparent leasing experience which eliminates any need for rent bidding and sees applications granted on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible applicants.

It also offers tenants the flexibility to move to different-sized apartments within the building over time as their living requirements change.

The latest data shows rental vacancy rates in Adelaide are less than 1%. Twenty-eight per cent of South Australia’s population are renters.

Image shows an aerial image of the Bowden site with the proposed development site highlighted in red.

Proposed development site at Bowden. Image is for illustrative purposes only.

The sophisticated Bowden BTR community will include panoramic views of the parklands and Bowden Park and is likely to house amenities such as a fully equipped fitness centre with swimming pool, rooftop gardens with outdoor cabana seating and barbecues, a business centre, resident lounge, bike storage, EV car charging stations and pet washing facilities.

Spanning over 12 storeys, the mixed-use development is tipped to become a landmark in Bowden, constructed directly opposite Bowden Park and the Plant 3 and 4 hospitality precinct.

Designs show provision for one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, which may include floor-to-ceiling double glazed windows, a fully included appliance package, high-end cabinetry, stone benchtops and walk-in showers along with spacious outdoor living areas. Rental rates will be determined closer to the development’s completion.

Renewal SA Chief Executive Chris Menz said Bowden’s ability to marry thoughtful design, sustainability, engaging placemaking and a sense of community made it the perfect location to launch the state’s inaugural BTR project.

“Bowden has been at the forefront of innovative housing in South Australia for more than a decade.

In 2022, Renewal SA specifically sought a BTR operator for the Bowden precinct and received such strong interest, highlighting what a unique and well-serviced community offering it has become. Having one of the world’s leading institutional BTR providers in Sentinel choosing Bowden as the location for its first South Australian venture will raise that bar again.

Sentinel’s development will trigger a market shift. Not only will it deliver greater choice and a more professionally managed and transparent rental experience for tenants, it will also free up availability in other housing segments that are currently oversaturated.”

Renewal SA Chief Executive Chris Menz

In keeping with its industry-leading commitment to sustainability, Sentinel’s latest portfolio offering will target carbon neutral certification, a minimum 5-Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia and an 8-star NatHERS rating. This is expected to dramatically reduce the embodied carbon within the building, and the tenant’s energy costs.

Designed by award-winning architecture and design studio, Architectus, the project will also include dedicate resident parking, leasing office, and ground floor retail spaces providing further opportunities for Third Street to realise its true high-street potential.

Director of Sentinel Fund Manager Australia, Michael Streicker said the company was proud to deliver Adelaide’s first institutional Build-to-Rent community and play a role in providing greater housing choice to South Australians.

“Our Build to Rent communities are designed and operated with renters as the priority, offering them a more refined and convenient rental experience. We care that our residents can be part of vibrant and engaged communities where environmental and social sustainability are integrated throughout,” Mr Streicker said.

“This acquisition marks an important step in Sentinel’s national growth strategy. Following on from our successful delivery of Australia’s first purpose-built Build-to-Rent communities in Western Australia, as well as the establishment of our first projects in Victoria and Queensland, we’re looking forward to working closely with Renewal SA to deliver this first-of-its-kind project for the state of South Australia.”

Image is of a swimming pool with two black pool chairs from Sentinel Subiaco

Image is from Sentinel - Element 27 in Subiaco, WA, the first 100% rental community in Western Australia and the first carbon neutral certified apartment community in Australia. Image is for illustrative purposes only.

Like nearby success story, Nightingale Bowden, Sentinel will also have a strong focus on community connectedness, fostered through a range of social events for residents. Examples from other projects including pizza nights, community picnics, in-house art exhibitions, and complimentary holiday gift wrapping. These events are designed to allow tenants to mingle with their neighbours creating an inclusive, yet exclusive, environment.

The development is expected to provide more than 250 jobs for South Australians throughout its construction and operation. In addition, the project will facilitate a series of work experiences placements for job seekers and high school students as part of Renewal SA’s Works Program. A paid employment position will also be sourced from the work experience cohort.

Construction of the apartment community, which will be managed under Sentinel’s Kinleaf property management brand, is expected to begin in the second half of 2024.

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