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GURNER™ tests apartment guidelines debate with new project in surprise 48-hour sellout

Melbourne’s owner occupiers continue to dominate the inner apartment market, with developer Tim Gurner’s latest luxury development reaching 100 percent sold in less than 48 hours, with over 55% percent sold to owner occupiers.

28 Stanley Street, located in Collingwood’s historic Foy and Gibson precinct, launched to the public on Friday June 11, with the $30million project reaching 100 percent sold by close of Sunday afternoon.

The developer had taken registrations of interest leading up to the launch, which resulted in an unprecedented influx of buyers over the opening weekend and led to the sell-out success of the project in just a few days.

The project follows the incredible success of the developer’s nearby Collingwood project, 107 Cambridge Street, which GURNER™ launched four weeks ago, and Regent Residences just 800m away in Richmond which is about to start construction after selling all 54 apartments in a matter of weeks.

28 Stanley Street is Tim Gurner’s 14th project within a two kilometre radius of the site, with the company also currently settling the completion of 233 apartments just 100m away at ‘Oxley’ and 200m away at ‘Litle Ox’ on Johnson Street.

Responding to ever-changing market demands and a surge in owner occupier interest, GURNER™ completely reconfigured the project’s floorplates to limit the one bedroom apartments to roughly 20 percent of the product mix, increase the size of all apartments and introduce multiple three bedroom offerings.

The reconfigured design delivered average apartments sizes of 55sqm internally for one bedroom offerings, 67sqm internally for two bedrooms and between 120sqm and 150sqm for the project’s three bedroom penthouses, which all sold for over $1.5m.

So strong was the interest from the owner occupier market, three separate potential buyers who missed out on their desired three bedroom offering, decided to purchase two apartments adjacent each other and have them converted into a large three bedroom floorplan.

“ The interest from owner occupiers has been absolutely astounding. Our large apartment offerings have been the first to sell, with many purchasers buying two apartments and customising them to suit their lifestyle – a new trend in Collingwood that only two years ago would have been unheard of,” Gurner said.

“ Based on the sales of our previous sell out Collingwood project, 107 Cambridge Street, we knew the owner occupiers demanded larger apartments, so we completely redesigned this project to offer larger-than-average, luxury apartments.

“ We launched the project with 47 apartments and by the end of the 48 hour selling period we had customised the floor plan into 40 apartments.

“ Had we offered these large apartments in the CBD or West Melbourne, it would have been a totally different story as the market in these locations has very different demands and desires.

“ That’s why it is so important to assess each and every project on its own merits using its extremely local buyer profile as a guide, rather than using a blanket formula across the board.

“ What works for one location is absolutely not going to be the right mix for another location, which is why I strongly believe that applying apartment standards across Victoria is a flawed premise that simply won’t be able to keep up with our rapidly moving market trends,” he said.

Mr Gurner said if mandated, minimum apartment guidelines would run the risk of becoming quickly outdated and would inhibit architects and developers from being adaptable to changing market trends.

“ Just two years ago we were selling in a completely different landscape, and buyers of our three Collingwood projects at the time - Oxley, Little Ox and Bellini - were demanding a more price-focused product.

“ This resulted in the larger apartments being much slower to sell. Fast forward to today and we are seeing a complete reversal in demand – purchasers are seeking out larger apartments and the smaller offerings are harder to sell.

Gurner said it was critical for the Government to consult with property industry leaders and developers to discuss the financial implications of the proposed apartment standards debate, as any changes would severely limit supply and increase costs across the board.

“ The proposed apartment standards guidelines could have a devastating effect on Victoria’s affordability and supply, just as it did in Sydney when New South Wales introduced the SEPP 65 over a decade ago.

“ The implications of those policy changes caused 10 years of under supply which pushed up prices to unsustainable levels, which has now resulted in a property market which is simply unaffordable for anyone trying to enter the market for the first time.

“ Under the proposed changes, a development site which would currently house 100 apartments, may in the future be limited to just 60 or 70 under the new laws.

“ This means less apartments are delivered but at a greater cost to the end user as developers will still need to recoup development costs.

“ This is coupled with Melbourne’s restrictive new neighbourhood planning laws which have placed severe restrictions on development in many of Melbourne’s desirable inner suburbs, which is already having a marked effect on supply in our most in-demand locations.

“ The combination of these two policy changes together would absolutely have a lasting negative effect on supply which would ultimately push up prices to unsustainable levels,” he said.

Positioned within the City of Yarra’s most historically significant ‘Foy and Gibson’ precinct, 28 Stanley Street draws inspiration from Manhattan’s Meatpacking district, to create a new architectural platform for Melbourne.

With its exposed brick detailing and matte black tapware, as well as its feature concrete ceilings, track lighting, LED strip lighting, Ilve appliances and timber floorboards to the kitchens, living and bedrooms, 28 Stanley Street’s design aesthetic celebrates the location’s unique industrial heritage and warehouse appeal.

The project is located just 800m from the CBD, 700m from Fitzroy Gardens and within a 1km radius of some of Melbourne’s best Universities, sporting precincts, shopping destinations and the famed Yarra River.

“ Collingwood makes sense for our clients due to its incredibly low vacancy rate of just 0.9 percent while median rental yields for apartments currently sit at 5.9 percent.

“ If the sell-out success of 28 Stanley Street and our previous Collingwood project, 107 Cambridge St is anything to go by, I can safely say that Melbourne’s owner occupier market has wholeheartedly embraced inner-suburban apartment living, which is why we have tailored these projects perfectly around their needs,” he said.

Designed by world-renowned New Zealand-based architects, Warren and Mahoney, 28 Stanley Street consists of 40 luxury New York loft style apartments anchored by retail and hospitality offerings at ground level.

For more information about the project please visit www.gurner.com.au

Media Contact:

Ashleigh McInnes, Papermill Media: Ashleigh@papermillmedia.com.au 0403 338 796

About Foy and Gibson:

Foy and Gibson was a pioneering retail empire in Melbourne which produced a host of leather, furniture, clothing and hardware goods and by the turn of the century had built the largest department store in the southern hemisphere as well as occupied a string of spinning and woolen mills, warehouses and apparel factories all within a two mile radius.

While the company eventually went into liquidation in 1968 the Foy and Gibson name has left a lasting mark on Collingwood’s architectural DNA with many now heritage-protected façades still baring its name.

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