26 June 2018
The Necessity of Change
It was only eight years ago when GURNER™ first launched Oxley in Collingwood. At the time, Collingwood was perceived as a dangerous, run down location. Today, the inner suburb paints a very different picture, especially in the Foy and Gibson heritage area where we have developed eight buildings with another six in the pipeline. You see a thriving retail, arts and cultural hub, surrounded by some of Melbourne’s most popular restaurants and bars.
Urban regeneration goes beyond converting former industrial zones into desirable residential precincts. It is the catalyst to cultural, environmental and community transformation, creating new opportunities, jobs and places people can enjoy. Collingwood and West Melbourne in Melbourne, Alexandria in Sydney, Fortitude Valley in Brisbane are all examples of how neighbourhoods with un attering histories can emerge to become the most coveted places to live. The James Street Markets in Brisbane is a great example. What was once a dilapidated industrial area has become a stunning retail and lifestyle hub with high fashion and vibrant dining.
Over 126,700 people migrated to Melbourne last year alone, with many employed or seeking employment in the city. Rather than pushing the urban sprawl further outwards, having more housing options closer to major employment and public transport nodes will put less pressure on infrastructure and transport networks, which cost taxpayers billions to build and maintain. Transforming former industrial areas into inner-city housing makes perfect sense, considering their close proximity to the CBD, large blocks and established access nodes.
Australia is yet to fully embrace apartment living, with only 3.6% of the Melbourne population living in apartments. The number stands just under 10% in Sydney and 2.9% in Brisbane. These are almost insigni cant compared to some of the most vibrant developed cities around the world, where apartment dwellers make up 30-95% of the population. GURNER™ believes the number of Australian apartment dwellers can only grow as the Australian dream of a house on a quarter-acre block becomes increasingly out of reach. Downsizers selling their large homes in the suburbs are also choosing to live close to convenient amenities, healthcare and a connected lifestyle. Demand for larger, quality apartments is de nitely on the rise.
Astute property investors and owner-occupiers now recognise the unique opportunities that await in places ripe for urban renewal, their full potential waiting to be realised. Savvy property buyers no longer rely only on market driven capital growth, but also consider location-speci c factors as suburbs change and adapt to apartment living. Successful urban renewal projects are typically within 4-5 km of the CBD and possess some heritage value, be it an interesting story to tell, unique architecture, or both. Much more than a place to live, they should engage the local and wider community, a place with heart and soul.
When we deliver an urban renewal project, we are not just offering a collection of buildings. We deliver a sense of place that celebrates its location and an enviable lifestyle, luxurious properties that will attract a diverse range of buyers and tenants. It is also critical that we activate the streetscape with a good selection of retail and dining.
A development can never be a good place to live if it doesn’t offer a vibrant and safe destination for the community to meet and enjoy. At GURNERTM, we collaborate with some of Australia’s best operators to ensure we bring our projects to life with quality experiences. With forward thinking and inspired vision, we work hard to deliver exceptional environments for buyers and investors, as well as future generations.