MEDIA RELEASE: Qualitas Continues Sydney Investments
17 February 2022
Melbourne – Qualitas, one of Australia’s leading alternative real estate investment managers, and First Quadrant Properties have entered a joint venture for the development of an infill site in the Sydney lower North Shore suburb of Willoughby, to be known as Willoughby Grounds. The investment has been made by the Qualitas Real Estate Opportunity Fund 2 (QREOF2), one of Australia’s largest discretionary opportunistic real estate funds that now has made investments with a combined end value of over $2 billion.
The 11,000sqm site, on the corner of Willoughby Road and Walter Street in Willoughby, will accommodate 164 residential units across five low-rise buildings, and having just received its planning approval is anticipated to commence by mid-2022.
The site benefits from being in a well-established and serviced neighbourhood, with access to the existing retail convenience, schools, transport and recreational facilities. Australia’s economic fundamentals are recovering with improving business activity to support GDP growth, borders re-opening, expected population growth, low unemployment and wages growth – all helping drive economic recovery and continued demand for medium-density dwellings in major cities, especially along the eastern seaboard.
Mark Fischer, co-founder and Global Head of Real Estate at Qualitas, said: “With residential house prices maintaining their strength in Sydney, developments such as Willoughby Grounds allow us to use our flexible equity capital to help developers deliver market-leading medium-density housing. We expect young families and professional couples to recognise the relative affordability of the offering given Willoughby currently has a median price of freestanding residential house of more than $3.3 million”.
The residential sector is a core investment theme for Qualitas, which has invested in or financed over 10,000 new residential dwellings across Australia and New Zealand since inception.
Mr Fischer added: “Thematically we like that the Fund can invest in an established neighbourhood with a low supply of medium-density housing but with deep underlying natural demand. It is rare that this dynamic presents in a sought-after location like Willoughby, which is benefiting from changes such as the demolition of the broadcast antenna and an injection of funding from developers for new parklands and upgraded leisure facilities. Market-leading product quality and creation of community, with a focus on sustainability, will be the determining factors of successful residential projects over the coming years and Willoughby Grounds delivers that.”
The development of Willoughby Grounds by First Quadrant Properties follows the success of their recently completed 64 Luxury Beach front apartments (‘Wavelength’) at the Sydney beachside suburb of Cronulla. First Quadrant Properties has specialised in luxury residential developments in Blue Ribbon suburbs of Sydney over the past 25 years.
“We are excited to get started with this development. We’ve spent time focussing on what the market is asking for, especially considering changes COVID-19 has made to how we live,” said Chris Rose, Managing Director of First Quadrant Properties.
“Families want a safe external environment for their kids to play while parents are working from home. The development comprises extensive landscaped gardens, a children’s playground and climbing wall, along with communal BBQ facilities. These features are important for the expected demand by young families wanting to take advantage of the excellent local schools, access to retail convenience and an exceptional location where you can be in the Sydney CBD within 10 minutes of leaving home,” Mr Rose said.
Less than 50 metres from the site, the local Bicentennial Reserve park has sports fields, play areas, picnic areas and a bowling club. Within the park is the Willoughby Leisure Centre, which offers programs for children, a health club, swimming pool, spa and sauna, and courts for netball, basketball, indoor soccer, volleyball and badminton.
Colliers has been appointed as selling agents with DKO Architects appointed to design the interiors of the apartments. The Display Suite is located on Frenchs Road, about 200m from the development site and will be open for the first release in early 2022.
17 February 2022
For further information, please contact:
Kate Stokes, Head of Marketing and Communications, Qualitas
M: 0481 251 552