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Plans revealed for 13-storey build-to-rent community in Bowden

An international property company’s plans for a 240-apartment, 13-storey development on a prime piece of land in Bowden have been released. See the pictures

Feb 23, 2024, updated Feb 23, 2024
Newly released plans for an apartment complex near Plant 4 in Bowden. Image: Future Urban/Architectus

Newly released plans for an apartment complex near Plant 4 in Bowden. Image: Future Urban/Architectus

The State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) will next week assess plans lodged by Sentinel Real Estate Corporation for a 13-storey mixed use development on a 4000-square metre site adjacent to the Plant 4 retail destination in Bowden.

Sentinel, headquartered in New York with offices in Australia, struck a deal in 2022 with the state government’s land agency, Renewal SA, to deliver a build-to-rent community on the prime inner-city land parcel.

The site of the proposed development between Second Street, Third Street and Gibson Street, Bowden. The vacant car park is around 50-metres away from Bowden train station. Photo: Renewal SA/Sentinel

Build-to-rent is a model whereby all dwellings in an apartment complex are managed by a single operator rather than separate investors and owners. While tenants often pay higher than market rents, they also benefit from longer leases and better amenity.

The model is more common in Europe and the United States.

Renewal SA says Sentinel’s Bowden development will be the first build-to-rent community in South Australia and is worth $100 million.

Plans published by the SCAP this week show Sentinel proposes 240 apartments for the site, which is currently vacant land being used as a car park.

The majority of the 124 apartments will be one-bedroom, while 11 will be studio apartments, 80 two-beds and 25 three-beds.

Bowden Sentinel development

A view of the development from the corner of Gibson Street and Second Street. Image: Future Urban/Architectus

A view of the development from Gibson Street. Image: Future Urban/Architectus

A gym is planned for level four of the building along with two outdoor communal areas and a swimming pool. There will also be 254 car parks contained from the ground floor to level five.

But only one “small scale” retail tenancy is proposed for the development alongside a small leasing office and business centre on the ground floor.

A view of the development looking northwest. Image: Future Urban/Architectus

It comes after Bowden residents raised concerns last year that there are not enough essential services in the area and the promise of Bowden as a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use neighbourhood is yet to be realised.

Those residents also said the Sentinel proposal lacks “the expected level of retail and commercial space needed to deliver the mixed-used and main-street promises”.

But planning consultants Future Urban, on behalf of Sentinel, argued the small-scale retail offering was “appropriate” because the complex is located next to Plant 4.

They also said the retail tenancy will “still offer an additional service to the local community”.

“A larger retail space was not chosen due to the sites proximity to Plant 4 Bowden which offers a large retail area to the community,” the consultants said.

“The proposed ground floor office spaces were therefore designed to form a ‘co-working’ studio where flexible furniture and the intuitive layout will encourage workplace interaction in a new-generation work environment.”

A view of the development from Third Street. Image: Future Urban/Architectus

Government planning officer Hannah Connell recommended the SCAP approve the development.

“The proposal will facilitate high density residential development that is considered to provide an acceptable mix of land uses, height and design in the context of the surrounding locality,” she said in her report to the SCAP.

“It is considered that the proposed development achieves the relevant provisions of the [Planning] Code and includes a tenure that is typically associated with affordable housing.”

Renewal SA’s Bowden Design Review Panel has also endorsed the plans.

Sentinel’s Kinleaf property management brand will manage the Bowden development if it is completed. The developer has said it will also target carbon-neutral certification.

Sentinel has around $14.2 billion of real estate assets under management, including more than 29,000 rental apartment units.

It also has more than 1600 build-to-rent units under development in Australia. 

Sentinel declined to comment.

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