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ABL Property Developers’ Forum 2019 – Wrap Up

Property & Development

This fourth annual ABL Property Developers’ Forum attracted more than 150 guests from Melbourne's property and development comminity.

The panel discussion, moderated by Scott Keck, Chairman of Charter Keck Cramer, included: The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp, Adrian Finanzio SC, Jamie Govenlock, Director - Urbis, Adam Hirst, General Manager Build to Rent – Mirvac and Nathan Theos, Executive Director New Business, Probuild.   

A summary of key points is below: 

Record Spending on Victorian Infrastructure Projects

  • Spending on road infrastructure is necessary but more attention should be paid to improving public transport infrastructure as a more equitable option for people travelling between home and work. 
  • Public transport infrastructure creates development opportunities, including housing and employment hubs.
  • Opportunities for more inner city developments were identified if public transport could be improved.
  • CBD developments should be adaptable so that podiums and car parks can be converted to alternative uses in the future. 

 Changes to Amendment C270: Central City Built Form Controls

  • The main issue is the lack of discretion in the built form controls.
  • Developers have been using C270 to facilitate commercial rather than residential developments.
  • This could result in a significant shortfall in future residential stock – particularly in the affordable housing sector.  
  • Developers who design new commercial developments should have long term flexibility to convert them into residential developments to meet future housing demand.

CBD developments should be adaptable so that podiums and car parks can be converted to alternative uses in the future.

Alternative Financing 

  • Developers attracted to alternative financing because it offers more bespoke solutions than traditional bank lending.  
  • Build to rent developments benefit from alternative financing because they do not fit traditional metrics.  

Build to Rent & Housing Affordability 

  • Future housing availability in Melbourne is a big issue.  
  • Build to rent is an important part of the solution.
  • State and local government have been supportive of Build to Rent projects but land tax consequences are a disincentive.  

Following last Thursday’s forum, ABL has been invited to share its submission on proposed reforms to the Central City Built Form Controls with the City of Melbourne.

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