September 14, 2023

Celebrating construction kick-off at 402 Macaulay Road: Assemble’s first Build-to-Rent project

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Our first build-to-rent project at 402 Macaulay Road in Kensington sits at the intersection of housing innovations – showcasing both how we can finance future homes and how we can deliver different housing pathways for Australians in need.  

In a major step forward for Assemble and for what’s possible for our country’s housing future, we officially broke ground on this 362-apartment project which will feature a diverse range of rental homes urgently needed in the current system, including affordable, social, essential worker, market-rate and specialist disability housing.  

Celebrating alongside the Victorian Premier Dan Andrews, the honourable Lord Mayor Sally Capp and our project partners, including Debby Blakey, HESTA CEO, Carolyn Viney, Super Housing Partnerships CEO, Mark Whelan, ANZ Group Executive, and David Fischer, Housing Choices Australia CEO, together we turned the first piece of ground to mark the beginning of this project’s construction journey.  

This is a milestone occasion for many reasons - not just for Assemble’s build-to-rent pipeline now being formally underway but this project importantly illustrates how we can re-engineer our current investment landscape to deliver on much-needed housing. Breaking ground on 402 Macaulay Road is a testament to a strong cross-sector alignment from all our partners to address a national housing crisis, and I am incredibly proud to be standing alongside them all for today’s celebrations.

Assemble's Managing Director Kris Daff

This milestone project is the first of five build-to-rent projects we’re delivering in partnership with Super Housing Partnerships (SHP), a specialist affordable housing fund manager, whose team are helping to orchestrate crucial investment solutions into Australian housing.

SHP’s CEO Carolyn Viney said "Today, as we break ground on this transformative build-to-rent housing project, we take a major step forward in reshaping the future of housing in Australia, providing secure and affordable homes for those who need it most, through an investment structure that is designed to achieve scale.”

“In partnership with HESTA, Assemble, and Housing Choices Australia, SHP is proud to be at the forefront of addressing Australia's housing affordability crisis.”

With an investment deal unique in the Australian housing landscape, 402 Macaulay Road was made possible by an initial $100 million investment by HESTA, a $74 billion Australian industry fund whose members work predominately in health and community services.

Debby Blakey, HESTA’s CEO, said “Breaking ground on our inaugural build-to-rent project is a moment of great pride for HESTA and our partners,”

This milestone propels us closer to realising our vision for how we as a long-term responsible investor can create strong, stable returns for our members by meeting Australia’s huge need for affordable and secure housing.

HESTA’s CEO Debby Blakey

Construction at 402 Macaulay Road will be helmed by our trusted builder partner Hacer Group who are currently progressing our next two Assemble Futures communities at 15 Thompson Street, Kensington, and 4 Ballarat Street, Brunswick.

After speeches and on-site celebrations concluded, we crossed the road to Cassette to continue celebrations on a milestone project that took many sectors and teams coming together to make possible.

We’re stronger together in the face of an escalating housing crisis, and we’re looking forward to kicking off and delivering more communities like 402 Macaulay Road, Kensington.

Images by Dijana Risteska