11 November 2022

Next stage of big build-to-rent project to deliver three apartment buildings

| Ian Bushnell
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The Borough BTR Stage 2, Denman Prospect.

An artist’s impression of the The Borough Stage 2 in Denman Prospect. Photo: AMC Architecture.

The next stage of a massive proposed build-to-rent precinct in Denman Prospect will add 208 apartments to the development.

Canberra Airport’s development arm, Capital Estates Developments, has not lost any time following up on its first development application (DA) for The Borough, which will eventually host nine residential buildings and 700 apartments on Block 13, Section 1 Denman Prospect.

It lodged the DA for the first stage for two apartment blocks and 162 apartments fronting Holborow Avenue in late October. This DA covers three more buildings up to six storeys known as Blocks A, B and E designed by DNA Architects, OZTAL Architects AMC Architecture.

Block A will hold 75 apartments, Block B 48 and Block E 85 across a 12,520 square metre site.

The DA states the $65 million proposal includes flexible one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments that can be readily adapted, ranging from 64sqm in size to 114sqm.

The development will offer cold shell apartment building design which the DA states allows for enormous flexibility of dwelling type within the buildings and for spaces to evolve over time to meet the changing demands of occupants.

The Borough site plan

A site plan of the precinct’s first two stages. Photo: AMC Architecture.

“The project will deliver dwellings that are affordable and deliver a high level of sustainability,” the DA states.

The buildings will have rooftop solar arrays that will contribute to the Borough Solar Farm (BSF), with more than 3000 solar panels generating more than 2.2 million kwh of power a year.

Together with battery storage, the BSF will enable Borough residents to be off grid for much of their power.

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An embedded power network – in which the Borough bulk buys power from energy providers at low-demand
times, stores and on-sells to residents at the lowest daily network prices – will help keep bills to a minimum.

Car parking spaces will also have electric vehicle chargers.

There are also plans to minimise strata levies. A structure will allow the strata to make a profit on smart meter electricity purchasing, common area carpark fees, share car and bike share income, and other community asset leasing.

The Borough BTR Stage 2, Denman Prospect.

The Borough Stage 2 will offer flexible apartment designs. Photo: DNA Architects.

The Borough’s double-sided atrium will provide affordable housing options plus natural light and cross-ventilation.

The DA states direct solar access to some dwellings is compromised but the central atriums help to alleviate this by providing natural light to at least two sides of every apartment.

All dwellings will also have generous external windows and shallow apartment depths.

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Outward-looking winter gardens will provide open space at upper floor levels while there will be courtyard walls on the ground.

Basement parking under all three buildings will provide 328 spaces, including 30 for visitor spaces plus 130 “spare” spaces that can be flexibly allocated depending on demand.

There will also be high-amenity ride share pick-up and drop-off locations, and bicycle parking options for residents and guests.

The Borough BTR Stage 2, Denman Prospect

Developers are promising a highly sustainable development. Photo: OZTAL Architects.

The site itself will be generously landscaped, including tree plantings.

Capital Estates has teamed up with Jega, which developed Kingsborough in Kingston Foreshore, to meet a demand in the market for secure, affordable rental accommodation with a high level of amenity and services.

Director of Project Delivery Nick McDonald Crowley said the target market would be Canberra’s essential workers, such as nurses and young teachers who may not be able to buy their own place initially.

Capital Estates plans to manage the leasing, maintenance and property management of the apartments and communal areas.

The plans come as the ACT Government pushes to attract 5000 extra rentals to the Canberra market through its Build-to-Rent prospectus to industry, including the release of a site in Turner for development.

Comments close on this DA on 25 November.

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So Capital Airport Group just happened to have the spare land in denman for capital estate developments to do build to rent in response to government incentives? How convenient. Clearly the massive uplift in land values since denman was created was not enough profit. Just as with the gas cartel, rentier interests can never be satisfied. Nurses and young teachers will never afford their own place after paying the premium asking rents of capital estate BTR, besides, why would capital airport group want to sell to developers when they can hold out for government handouts to become a landlord. Get ready for more neoliberal housing market failure with a distinctly corporate dystopia feel, blessed by a Labor Greens government.

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