Melbourne Assemble apartments ‘better, fairer’

A new Melbourne project is the first step towards a ‘better, fairer housing system’, according to developer Assemble Futures.

The company has announced the release of a 3,112sqm site at 4 Ballarat Street, Brunswick, with 171 apartments scheduled for construction. 

Designed by Fieldwork architects, the forthcoming apartment block will consist of studio, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments, offered under Assemble’s ‘rent-with-the-option-to-buy’ plan.

Studio apartments will start at $462,500, increasing to a minimum $1,095,000 for three bedroom, one bathroom apartments in the eight-storey building.

The national median unit price is $600,000, according to the Real Estate Institute of Australia. 

Assemble Managing Director Kris Daff says the project is popular with Melbourne’s first home buyers, and will transform the existing factory site into a highly sought after inner-north community.

“We are witnessing the strongest growth in property values in our history, rising at their fastest rate in almost two decades,” he says. “And as a result we have reached a crisis point in housing affordability.”

“This latest project provides those with a moderate annual income an opportunity to save for a home deposit, knowing they have the security of tenure, and live in the heart of the Brunswick community in a quality designed apartment.”

Assemble’s rent-with-the-option-to-buy plan sees successful applicants sign a lease agreement and contract of sale for five years agreed rent, with the option to buy the apartment at the end of the lease period.

Project render of 4 Ballarat Street, Brunswick.

The proposed building on Ballarat Street will take its cue from the Brunswick streetscape, with the design incorporating raw materials including corrugated iron, bluestone paving and concrete to create a ‘real’ feel.

Fieldwork director Joachim Holland says the design preserves the original building fabric and incorporates it into the new apartments.

“Our proposal looks to build upon the layered, textured language of the neighbourhood and tie the new building into its surroundings,” he says. “The selection of natural materials is a conscious strategy for the building to age honestly and beauitfully.”

“Instead of shiny panelisation that is commonly used in newer Brunswick projects, the ribbed and textured concrete patine will create a timeless finish.”

Aside from the 170+ apartment building, the site will host a communal workshop, library, park, and individual gardens.

The announcement marks the third such project from Assemble, following two developments in Kensington which are currently under construction, and being demolished in preparation for construction.

Construction is scheduled to commence later this year, with a planned completion date in early 2023.

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