• Cedar Pacific & Sumitomo Forestry announce partnership for an ESG-Focused Build-to-Rent Program in Australia & New Zealand

    5 April 2024

    Cedar Pacific, a leading Australian property investor, and Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd., a major Japanese company engaged in various businesses relating to forestry and wood management, including development, today announced a strategic partnership to develop Build-to-Rent (BTR) assets in Australia and New Zealand.

    This collaboration will leverage both companies’ expertise to deliver high-quality, sustainable residential communities that meet the growing demand for rental housing in the region with a commitment to achieving high ESG credentials.

    A Partnership Focused on Sustainability and Innovation

    This new partnership brings together Cedar Pacific’s development expertise in Australia and New Zealand with Sumitomo Forestry’s deep understanding of sustainable timber building solutions and commitment to ESG principles. The joint venture will focus on developing Build-to-Rent communities that are not only well-designed and amenity-rich but also built with a focus on environmental sustainability and social responsibility.

    Bernie Armstrong, CEO of Cedar Pacific, said “This partnership allows us to combine both companies’ development expertise with leading-edge sustainability practices, creating communities that are not only desirable places to live but also contribute positively to the environment and communities in which they are located. We are honoured to partner with Sumitomo Forestry to develop high-quality BTR communities in Australia and New Zealand.”

    Yasuhiro Odagane, Managing Director of Sumitomo Forestry Australia, said, “We are committed to expanding our sustainable development business globally, and this partnership with Cedar Pacific represents a significant step forward.”

    George Konstandakos, General Manager at Sumitomo Forestry Australia, added, “Our combined expertise will allow us to deliver innovative BTR communities that promote the use of timber technologies such as Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) to meet the needs of residents and contribute to the creation of a more sustainable future.”

    The partnership is expected to develop a significant portfolio of BTR assets across Australia and New Zealand in the coming years. The first planned project in the joint venture is 50 Quay Street in Brisbane, which is part of the State of Queensland Treasury’s affordable BTR pilot program. The project, which has begun construction with Hutchinson Builders, incorporates 475 apartments overlooking the Brisbane River and includes 50% of the apartments offered at below market, affordable rents. The development is being constructed to 5-star Green Star standards with the intention to operate at net carbon neutral from day one. The JV has a pipeline of other projects in Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane and Auckland, and details of the developments will be announced in due course.

    Savills Capital Advisors and Savills Australia and New Zealand advised Cedar Pacific on the capital raise. Joe Guilfoyle, co-Head of Savills Capital Advisors, said: “BTR continues to provide investors with attractive risk adjusted returns, given the favourable supply / demand dynamics and resilient cash flows. As a leading platform, with both BTR and PBSA expertise, we are delighted to have assisted Cedar Pacific in securing this first tranche of capital with a high quality institutional investor.”

    Conal Newland, Head of Operational Capital Markets, Savills Australia and New Zealand adds: “With record low residential vacancies of sub-1% nationally in Australia, rents continuing to increase, and housebuilding falling, we see BTR playing an increasingly important role in plugging this housing gap. We are pleased to have assisted Cedar Pacific in this new partnership and look forward to seeing new sustainable homes delivered across under supplied markets.”


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