Property developers target prime sites

July 26, 2014

Nearly all new urban projects are on premises that at other times served different interests.

Developers are finding it tougher and tougher to pinpoint good sites for new homes and are increasingly relying on areas being rezoned for residential use or buying up defunct warehouse and commercial premises, old homes and office blocks

“it’s getting harder all the time to find sites that are good enough for urban development.” Says Chris Johnson, CEO of the Urban Taskforce Australia. “And that’s particularly for apartments in inner city area.”

A new website has now even appeared to help developers located potential sites, the brainchild of finance graduate Daniel Madej, 25, who became frustrated when having to travel through thousands of listings to find any spots suitable for development. His website, aims to become a major help for those planning new apartments and housing.

“I’ve always been interested in real-estate, architecture, urbanisation and property development but it was annoying not having a single website that was just about finding development sites,” says Madej. “So, this was three years in marketing, but I hope it will prove worthwhile”

Nearly all new buildings are now on premises that once served other interests, in order to make the most of good locations. On the town centre side of the tracks at Strathfield, for example, an area that contains two old houses and a very old block of four flats is being primed for a new 57-apartment building, to be called centric.

“it’s a very, very tightly-held area so it’s extremely hard to secure site,” says Andrew Taylor, sales and marketing manager of developer Lumex Property Group. “there’s been some new development on Parramatta Road, but this but this is right smack in the middle of the area, just 100 meters to Strathfield Plaza and 200 metros from the station”

Designed by architects SJB, most of the one- and two-bedroom apartments in the eight-level building will have a northerly aspect as well as wide terraces, winter gardens, European oak floors and banquette seats extending the eat-in kitchen into the dining space. There will be rooftop areas for those on the top floor, common areas on the podium for everyone, and ground-floor restaurants and office space.

In Mascot, another developer is about to begin demolishing some old industrial factory units for a three­ building project of 510apartments over 14 levels, called Esprit. Close to the station and town centre, developer the Bridgehill Group bought the coveted site in the face of strong competition from other developers.

“We made the best offer on the best terms,” says Bridgehill sales and marketing director David Lee. of the company that is also constructing the Bridgehill Residences at Milsons Point, has finished Azure in Rhodes and is about to announce another 800 apartments in Zealand.

“Mascot is a suburb that’s going through a lot of change and gentrification, and we wanted to be a part of it.”

Also designed by SJB, it will have oversized apartments, many of them dual-key and a central landscaped courtyard between two buildings, with parkland dividing thermoformed third. The display suite opens this weekend.

“In the area, agents are approaching the owners corporations of strata-ed industrial warehouses because there is so much demand from developers who want to buy amalgamated sites.” says Lee.

The first launch is of buildings A and B, with C to be released in a few months. Now available are 104 one-beds plus study (68-106 sqm) from$595,000; 122 two­ beds (68-91 sqm) from $720,000; 14 twos-plus-study (106-114 sqm) from $850,000; 88 dual-key two-beds (105-108sq m) from $750,000; and two dual-key threes (157 sqm) from $1,395,000. Every apartment has parking, and interiors are designed by Outfit Interiors., phone 1800 899 928.

Originally published by Domain Group