Build-to-rent development gets green light in South Melbourne

Novus on Bowen St South Melbourne
Brendan Rees

The City of Port Phillip has approved a planning amendment for an 18-storey build-to-rent (BTR) project to go ahead in South Melbourne.

BTR developer Novus has been given the green light for its development at 2 Bowen Crescent, which will comprise 215 purpose-designed BTR apartments spread across 18 levels and include a mix of studio, one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom homes.

The site was bought in an off-market transaction via Walter Occhiuto of Dawkins and Occhiuto for an undisclosed amount with an existing planning permit and has since undergone a redesign by Rothelowman Architects to tailor its use for BTR.

A planning amendment approval was approved by the City of Port Phillip in February. 

The building, located near the soon-to-be-completed Anzac Station, has been designed with “convenience, health and wellness as priorities,” with features including a full-line gym, indoor pool, wellness area, sauna/steam room and ice plunge.

“The striking façade seamlessly connects indoor and out, complemented by a ground floor retail offering, while the exclusive rooftop terrace provides uninterrupted views across the Domain and Albert Park,” Novus said.

Construction will begin in the middle of the year and is expected to be completed in 2026. A builder will be announced soon.

The developer is also currently constructing another build-to-rent project on Sturt St in Southbank, which is due to be completed this year. 

Novus CEO Adam Hirst said the development named Novus on Bowen would provide an important contribution to the nation’s flourishing BTR sector while supporting the undersupply of residential housing.

“Novus on Bowen marks our second addition to the Melbourne skyline, and we are delighted to see this offering come to the market in 2026,” Mr Hirst said.


The site is truly one-of-a-kind, adjacent to the soon-to-be-completed Melbourne Metro Anzac Station, providing direct access to major employment, education and health care precincts, every four minutes.


“Our team is thrilled by the prospect of not only delivering another BTR development in Melbourne’s inner-city precinct, but also demonstrates our commitment to the company mission: to create homes for 10,000 people.”

The building will target an average 7-star NatHERS, net zero emissions during operations, and will be an all-electric building, allowing for generation of renewable energy on site,

It will also have green electricity via a building embedded network, and all parking will be future proofed for EV charging.


Caption: Artist impressions of an 18-storey build-to-rent development in South Melbourne.

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