Property Australia

A leg up the property ladder

Karen Jamal Karen Jamal May 11, 2021

Assemble is transforming an old factory site in Melbourne’s Brunswick into a dynamic new apartment community – and it is offering renters a chance to get a leg up the property ladder.


  Why we love this project:

  • Assemble’s ‘rent-with-the-option-to-buy’ project at 4 Ballarat Street in Brunswick bridges the gap between renting and buying
  • Once the applicant signs the lease agreement and contract of sale, they secure five years of agreed rent with the option to buy at the end of the lease period.
  • Assemble managing director Kris Daff says the model “provides those with a moderate annual income an opportunity to save for a home deposit, know they have the security of tenure and live in the heart of the Brunswick community in a quality designed apartment.”


Assemble, with a privately-funded portfolio of affordable and build-to-rent housing valued at $3 billion, currently has 5,000 dwellings across 10 sites.

The company’s ‘rent-with-the-option-to-buy’ project at 4 Ballarat Street follows two similar developments in Melbourne’s Kensington.

Kris Daff, Assemble’s managing director, says the concept is attractive to first home buyers, especially as Australia reaches “a crisis point in housing affordability”.

“Our housing concept, Assemble Futures, takes the volatility out of the market and provides absolute price certainty for our clients over the term of the lease and the end purchase price.”

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Designed by Fieldwork architects, the 171 apartments include studio, one, two and three-bedroom floorplans. Residents will enjoy natural light and crossflow ventilation, and living spaces designed with durability, functionality and longevity in mind.

The building will be fully electric and run on 100 per cent renewable energy. Assemble is targeting a minimum 7.5-star average NatHERS rating.

The ground floor will feature a multi-purpose workshop and lending library. A rooftop communal room will offer a flexible, bookable studio space to host activities such as parties, yoga and community events. There will also be a parcel delivery and cool storage room.

The rooftop is adorned with open green space and activated by a communal BBQ area, shared laundry, designated dog park and wash area and edible garden.

An onsite bio-composter will convert organic waste into fertiliser for the gardens. Provisioning will be made for future electric vehicle charging facilities. Parking for more than 200 bikes is also accommodated.

Construction will commence in late 2021 and is expected to be complete by early 2023.

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