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RICH LISTER TIM GURNER CONFIDENT IN LOCAL MARKET

Invest / Apartments

Australia

Oct 31 2018

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Luxury property developer, GURNER™ has received planning approval for yet another heritage project in Collingwood, as its proposal for a boutique mixed-use development at 368-374 Smith Street gets the green light after a mediation with locals and Council that saw the permit issued without a VCAT hearing.

The approval underpins GURNER™’s confidence in the local high-end apartment market, adding to the developer’s multiple other Melbourne development sites that have recently achieved planning approval and are awaiting imminent launch.

This is the developer’s 7thproject in its portfolio featuring a heritage façade in City of Yarra alone, and the 23rdbuilding Tim Gurner has developed in his much-loved inner-north of Melbourne.  

The approved project will feature 39 luxury apartments along with a communal rooftop featuring private spas, a pool and individual retreats, as well as three retail tenancies at ground level spanning 268sqm in total. 

“Projects like this I believe will be very successful no matter what the market is doing, as we have a number of registered buyers that have missed out on our other projects over the past few years,” said GURNER™ director, Tim Gurner.

“ Our appetite for these boutique sites in Collingwood and Fitzroy remains incredibly strong,” he said. 

The project will add $40m to the developer’s portfolio and is being designed by trans-Tasman architecture practice, Warren and Mahoney – a long-time collaborator of GURNER™.

This will be the fifth time GURNER™ has collaborated with Warren and Mahoney, with previous projects including the celebrated nearby 28 Stanley Street, Regent Residences, the redevelopment of Fitzroy’s Spanish Club just around corner and a future project in Sydney. 

The developer first acquired the site with plans to develop 65 one and two apartments, however off the back of the increasing strength of the high-end owner occupier market, strategically decided to reconfigure the floorplans to offer less, but larger offerings, to reflect a more discerning buyer. 

The stunning heritage shop-front façades will be restored, retained and reimagined to house ground-level retail amenity, with the contemporary residential counterpart to be set-back and rise above. 

GURNER™ founder and director Tim Gurner said the planning approval had come off the back of a collaborative process with the City of Yarra council. 

“ It’s no surprise I love Collingwood and Fitzroy for their unique urban character and in particular, the connection to the Foy & Gibson and JG Cole heritage architecture. 

“ When we found this site with its heritage façade we jumped at the chance to create something special that would pay homage to site’s history as we have done many times before. 

“ We worked really closely with council every step of the way to address and mediate any concerns they raised which has resulted in an approved scheme much as we originally proposed. 

“ Our relationship with council has been up and down over the years but we are now working really well together. This is now our third major project negotiated with the City of Yarra in the past six months and I’d like to think they can see how committed I am to delivering not just beautiful buildings but projects that support the area’s café and hospitality culture. 

“ We are really pleased with the outcome and we are very much looking forward to launching this boutique project in the coming years once the current lease agreements have lapsed” he said. 

Principal architect on the project Nick Deans said the design response had taken acute inspiration from the façade and Smith Street’s origins as Melbourne’s most important turn-of-the-century shopping precinct. 

“ Our vision for the project acknowledges and respects the history of four, largely intact, heritage shopfronts. Our design is considerately setback from the edge of Smith Street to create an interplay of tactile historical fabric on the first two levels, paired with a contemporary residential building setback above,” said Deans.

For more information on GURNER™’s latest apartment projects please visit www.gurner.com.au.

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