Designing For The Downsizers- What Baby Boomers really Want


Melbourne developer Neometro recently completed 126 Walsh Street, a luxurious apartment project aimed at empty nesters keen on spending their kids’ inheritance on the must-haves in life: butlers kitchens, private lifts, private lobbies and outdoor kitchens. From a block of four, just one apartment is left for sale.

Neometro say the luxury downsize market is emerging as particularly strong in inner city suburbs like South Yarra, where empty nesters want to give up their sprawling homes yet still want all the features of those homes in an oversized apartment.

Statistics agree with this statement, as research shows that in the early 2000s just three per cent of people over 50 downsized their homes. However, an Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute report recently found 42 per cent of people aged 50-59 are expecting to move to a smaller dwelling or different location in the near future.

Located at the northern end of Walsh Street, in the leafy enclave of South Yarra near the Royal Botanic Gardens, the project brings Neometro’s signature design across four residences each spanning an entire level with generous outdoor living spaces.

Its completion this month elevates Neometro’s award-winning design credentials to new heights, with Carr Design Group and MA Architects collaborating on the design to deliver luxury residences.

Neometro design director Jeff Provan said as the residences aimed to offer downsizers uncompromising living, their design was approached as if building a house.

“This project was about creating four homes rather than apartments. We have delivered on that, providing generous hallways, expansive living areas along with a choice of outdoor areas in each residence that offer garden aspects or city views.”

The building offers three three-bedroom, three-bathroom apartments and one two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment on the top floor, with an average size of 300 square metres. Three of the four apartments sold prior to completion and currently only one remains.

Designed in collaboration with MA Architects and Carr Design, the property is priced in the mid $5 million range. The three bedroom, three bathroom apartment offers generous spaces and highlights Neometro’s award winning design aesthetics – from its striking outdoor shutters and cedar clad balcony ceilings to its marble bathrooms and Apaiser basins.

Overlooking the leafy street below, the apartments feature vast front verandas with shutters and cedar clad timber ceilings. A green awning accessorises the ground-level apartment’s outdoor space and complements the limestone-clad façade, expressed columns and natural renders.

A restrained entry opens from a cedar gate into a breezeway and to an intimate foyer where services and doors are cleverly concealed by grey cedar batons, providing uniformity and disguise.

A secure lift delivers residents directly into their home where interiors communicate contemporary elegance through a restrained colour palette, complemented by concrete and timber textures.

The open plan living and dining areas extend onto the front veranda where an outdoor stainless steel kitchen is built with a bar fridge and barbeque. The interior features black steel bordering the fireplace and entertainment unit, blending into the granite bench top that extends from the kitchen.

Blending timber and black accents, such as a matte black sink, the kitchen is built for function, style and storage - including dual ovens, integrated dishwasher and extensive custom 2-pac cabinetry. The scullery hides away the integrated Liebherr fridge and wine storage.

Wide hallways channel activity to the rest of the home, with a powder room clad in limestone tiles and featuring freestanding basins by Apaiser, nestled beside a stainless steel laundry. A large home office with two inbuilt black timber veneer desks opens onto a planter balcony overlooking the enclave.

Bedrooms feature plush wool carpet, ensuites, extensive white wardrobes and all open onto private planter balconies. The use of Carrera marble suggests luxury, while white Corian basins and cabinetry provide a light contrast. An egg-shaped Apaiser bath and rainwater showers add to the lavish surrounds.

“These residences aim to raise the benchmark for apartment living and show people that downsizing or choosing an apartment over a traditional house doesn’t have to mean compromised living,” Mr Provan said.

Each residence features ample joinery and storage, French oak flooring, stone finishes, smart heating and cooling and secure basement parking for three cars.

Expressions of Interest on the final property close today.

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