Rent disrupter opens its doors in Subiaco
- Published The West Australian
- Date 17/04/2019
- Journalist Helen Shield
Sentinel Real Estate’s build-to-rent project – an Australian first – is about to open in Subiaco.
The bold move by the US property firm, is expected to start a groundswell of Australian build-to-rent development, with ASX-listed Mirvac hot on its heels.
The duo are set to disrupt the rental market status quo across the country, previously geared to landlords because in their model, the tenant is the customer. The happier the tenant is, the less inclined they are to move.
That delivers investors in build-to-rent projects the steady income streams that has made it one of the most desirable asset classes in the US and Europe.
Element 27, which is offering new tenants signing a 12-month lease, free rent for May, has pitched its Price Street, Subiaco development firmly at the “discerning renter”.
These high-end tenants will have the comfort of knowing their weekly rent includes “around-the-clock maintenance” and “professional on-site management”, wi-fi throughout community spaces as well as access to a pool, fitness centre, parking and rooftop garden.
Sentinel Real Estate’s executive vice-president Michael Streicker said he was surprised at how frequently Sentinel had heard that renters in Australia were treated as second-class citizens.
“For us, our residents are the only business we have and keeping them happy and safe is our primary responsibility,” he said, adding that Sentinel had been encouraged by the forward-thinking City of Subiaco and Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority.
“WA has been a great place to do business,” Mr Streicker said pricing was fixed for each unit and Sentinel would not engage in bidding wars.
“In our mind, one of the potential values of living at Element 27 will be a tenant’s ability to move apartments within the community at no cost as their family situation changes.
“If a single person who is living in a one-bedroom apartment gets marries they will be able to move into a two-bedroom apartment. If the couple then decide to have a family, they have the opportunity to move into a three-bedroom apartment.. while maintaining their connections to the community in which they live and work. That’s not possible in the current Australian rental market given the fragmented ownership of apartment units within buildings.”
Element 27 was designed by Hillam Architects and built by BGC Construction. It has 93 apartments, half of them studio and one bedroom and the other half two and three-bedroom – one with a study – a pool, a fitness centre, barbecue areas, a rooftop lounge with city views, a media room, storage units, electronic parcel locker system and underground parking. Pets are welcome.
Each apartment has outdoor spaces and each comes with stainless steel appliances including a fridge and a microwave and full-sized washer and dryer.
Rents range from $450 to $950 a week. It is walking distance to Subiaco train station and nearby supermarkets as well as the top end restaurant and entertainment strip Rokeby Road.