Plans have been lodged for a rare boarding housing development in Canberra’s north in response to the ACT’s shortage of affordable rental accommodation.
Horse Park Enterprises Pty Ltd has lodged a development application for the three-storey, 50-room boarding house plus six affordable apartments in Taylor.
The proponents are seeking a lease change to allow fewer than the specified minimum of 25 multi-unit dwellings on the RZ4 site to focus on the boarding house.
“The decision to decrease the number of units and pursue a moderately sized boarding house development is in recognition of the shortage of this form of accommodation in Canberra and in this area in particular,” the DA says.
A Horse Park Enterprises director told Region it was a purpose-built build-to-rent project offering fully furnished, affordable and flexible accommodation that would suit people coming to Canberra to work.
“They might not want to stay long-term, have flexibility in rent. Build-to-rent suits that market,” he said.
The site on Horsepark Drive was also in a high-growth area, across the road from the future Moncreiff shopping centre and well connected by road to the city and the Federal Highway to Sydney.
It would also suit small families with the child care centre next door.
The developer would be looking to an investor to buy and manage the boarding house.
But the boarding house is not pitched at students. The DA says Taylor is too far from any tertiary institutions to attract students, so it is not expected to become a “defacto” student residence.
Build-to-rent is becoming more common in the ACT and the government is pushing to have the property industry add 5000 dwellings to the rental market, but most proposals are for larger multi-unit projects.
There are not yet many smaller boutique boarding house-style proposals.
A separate DA has already been lodged for a child care centre on one section of the site on Horsepark Drive (Block 1 Section 83), but it will be fenced off from the $5.5 million residential project, which will sit on 2114 square metres.
The boarding house rooms, most of which will face east towards the adjacent public open space and wetlands, will contain a bed, a desk, a small sitting area, a kitchenette and a bathroom, and have either a courtyard or a balcony.
Nine will be single-person rooms, while the rest are for two occupants.
The north-facing apartments will be single-bedroom dwellings and will also have courtyards and balconies. Four will be adaptable.
A common area will house the reception, a communal kitchen, laundry, a living room with a large screen TV and couches, chairs and tables, and an accessible bathroom and toilet.
It will open out to the communal courtyard for the boarding house residents.
All residents will have access to a gym and a swimming pool adjacent to a communal barbecue and covered seating area.
An external contractor will manage the boarding house complex, with the office in the basement, where 41 parking spaces will be provided, six more than required.
Vehicles will enter the site from Corkery Crescent.
The landscape plan shows trees on three sides of the residential development.
Comments close on the DA on 30 November.