5 Minutes With...Nicholas Smedley, Steller


Nicholas Smedley is the Managing Director of Steller, a Melbourne-based property firm that specialises in medium density housing in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

He has a background in corporate finance over a range of sectors in both Australia and Hong Kong, where he specialised in deal management, financial modelling and deal negotiation. Prior to starting Steller 10 years ago, Nicholas was with KPMG and UBS Investment Bank.

Q. What has the last year been like for Steller?
It has been an incredibly busy 2016 for Steller. We currently have 22 developments in construction. We’ve also discovered some great new sites and have established fruitful joint venture partnerships, which have enabled us to proceed with some fantastic new developments in suburbs including Hampton and Bentleigh.
Q. Have you experienced any change in property trends? Are you predicting a change to come?
While an oversupply of small inner-city apartments may happen in the future, I don’t believe that a glut of larger format apartments is going to happen.

It has been noticed at Steller that there is strong demand for well-planned, spacious apartments designed specifically with the owner-occupier market in mind.


Spacious design at 21-25 Nicholson Street, Bentleigh.

In terms of trends for next year, I unfortunately think that first home buyers will continue to be squeezed out of the property market as a result of new bank lending requirements. I think this is quite disappointing that this occurs as we're always looking at new ways to provide affordable housing so everyone has the opportunity and privilege to own their own home.
Q. What is Steller’s current project focus? Are there major events/developments currently under the spotlight?
One of the most exciting things we’re working on is the reinvigoration of the area of Hampton in the vicinity of Holyrood, Hampton and Littlewood Streets.

The $200 million development includes three luxury apartment buildings as well as an independent supermarket, provedore, gym, various restaurants, cafes, and a wine bar, which will be operated by an exciting young team. We will be completely rejuvenating the look and feel of the precinct.

We also recently launched 21-25 Nicholson Street, Bentleigh and 50% of the apartments have already sold. The residential development is located in the McKinnon School Zone and is positioned opposite Bentleigh Train Station and Bentleigh Sunday Market.


21-25 Nicholson Street, BentleighThe development is close to Bentleigh West Primary School, beautiful parklands like Allnutt Park and Bentleigh is also only 40 minutes by train or car to Melbourne's CBD Commute with ease to Melbourne’s CBD by car or by train in around 40 minutes.

The development features two and three bedroom apartments and is targeted towards owner-occupiers.

Next year we will commence development of an apartment and townhouse development project, on a $20 million site we recently purchased in Highett. 

Q. Are there any unique ways that you approach your work? 
I always approach my work with enthusiasm and a fresh perspective, but Steller has a number of development principles in place and I always choose to make sure they are carried out.

There are always opportunities to maximise efficiency and creativity, but by ensuring all of our developments stick to a set of strict company guidelines regarding location, size and sustainability, Steller can ensure a consistent service across the board and we can continue to deliver a premium product that is attractive to the owner-occupier market. 

Q. What is it that keeps you motivated?    
I love that Steller is providing homes for young families. Our apartments are hugely popular among couples with young kids and it’s great to see the families enjoy the spaces that we worked so hard to bring to life.

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