Dutch pension fund manager PGGM, via its private real estate fund, has committed to invest A$700m (€429m) in a built-to-rent (BTR) apartments partnership in Australia with Apt Residential.

The PGGM Private Real Estate Fund has committed to the capital to the venture with the Sydney-based real estate investment manager aiming to establish a portfolio of BTR apartments, valued at up to A$1.5bn.

Phase one of the partnership is targeting to develop more than 2,500 BTR apartments.

Matt Carolan, co-founder and managing director of Apt Residential told IPE Real Assets that once leveraged, and combined with Apt-Residential’s investment, the venture would have the capacity for development projects, valued at more than A$1.5bn.

Carolan said: “Apt Residential owns 100% of the management business and both Apt Residential and PGGM will co-invest in all assets owned by the partnership.”

Asked about the projects, he said: “Our first site in Sydney was settled in April and work has already commenced on the project. A further two assets will be acquired imminently in Sydney. The acquisitions made, so far, will be announced separately very soon. Apt Residential has an initial focus on Sydney, where we are based and where BTR sites have been more difficult to establish,” said Carolan.

“We are delighted to have formed a long-term partnership with Apt Residential. PGGM Private Real Estate focuses on forming strategic partnerships with experienced teams,” said Ronald Bausch, senior director, private real estate, Asia Pacific, PGGM.

Bausch said investments are well chosen in a sector where specific building and related location “selection are paramount in generating attractive returns”.

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