Downsizers drive Gurner project sell out

Downsizers drive Gurner project sell out

7 July 2017

Rich lister Tim Gurner has almost sold out of his Albert Park Residences apartment development in South Melbourne, just two weeks after offering larger apartments to the downsizer market.

Downsizers seeking larger residences, reduced the development from 160 apartments, to 140. The resulting layout created a mix of half-floor residences valued between $4.5 million to $5.5 million with the project generating total sales of $140 million.

The Australian Financial Review reported that Mr Gurner took a calculated risk by offering a third of the apartments in the tower, designed by Elenberg Fraser, as three-bedders to “test the scale and breadth of the downsizer market” but that it had “paid off in spades”.

“People have been talking about the downsizer market for years and I never believed it as we were not seeing it on the ground,” he said.

“However the last 12 months has completely flipped the apartment market demographic on its head and we are now seeing unprecedented interest from this market segment in particular.”

Mr Gurner said demand had been fuelled by a number of factors, including the “amazing rise in house prices which has seen many homes in Toorak, South Yarra and Albert Park literally double in value in the past three to four years”.

“Houses that were worth $3 million to $8 million in these suburbs are now worth $6 million to $15 million and this means wealthy downsizers have $6 million to play with now rather than $3 million from the sale of their family home,” he said.

While Mr Gurner has consistently rejected the view there are too many apartments being developed in Melbourne, he warned that new state government changes to stamp duty, which include the removal of off-the-plan stamp duty concessions for investors, would have a “large impact on the investment market without question”.

“It is my belief that sales to investors will come to a grinding halt for the next quarter, which the government will no doubt regret once they see the implications of their policies playing out in the market,” he said.

As reported by The Urban Developer, Gurner said Albert Place Residences were designed to exude a sense of ‘old world’ charm, style and sensibility that New York’s luxury hotels are so well known for.

Standing tall on a triangular site in a fluid, curvilinear form not unlike New York’s famous Flatiron building, future residents will be greeted by a full time concierge and valet service before entering a lobby adorned with black marble, scalloped columns, timber herringbone walls and a feature floor made from checkered black Nero Marquina and white Carrara marble.

“We have designed the lobby to provide an arrival experience like no other,” David Hicks said.

“Complete with valet and concierge, this space, inspired by New York institutions such as The Carlyle, will rival any 5 star hotel in its elegance and glamour.”

Once inside, residents will be greeted with ‘The Prince’s Club’ – a moody, New York-inspired long room, lounge area and cards table, framed by a library, pool table and wine cellar with 52 individual wine lockers for owners, holding over 2,500 bottles of wine.

Albert Place Residences are due for completion in late 2019 and Crema Constructions is set to undertake the $55 million build.