Gurner Acquires An Entire Collingwood Block


Developer Gurner has announced a 5,100 square metre development deal between Wellington and Cambridge Streets in Collingwood, which encompasses an entire suburban block representing over $300million in value when complete.

The site, which represents one of the largest development sites remaining this close to the CBD, was procured off market in two separate deals.

The first being a 4,550 square metre parcel at 1-57 Wellington Street and 2-12 Cambridge Street, and a 623 square metre collection of commercial buildings at 71 – 77 Victoria Parade.

Combined, the land price for the deal is suggested to be worth over $40 million.

The resulting combined site runs the entire length of Wellington Street from Victoria Parade through to just short of Derby Street at the former Vine Hotel, which does not form part of the site and then also a vacant car park on Cambridge Street.

The developer has appointed Sydney-based architecture firm Koichi Takada Architects to design the project, which will include over 400 apartments along with extensive ground floor retail and luxury resident amenity.

"From a design perspective this site allows us to create something really unique that, rather than having a ‘front’ and a ‘back’, addresses each façade as a feature to create a building that is incredible to look at from every angle," said Gurner Founder and Director Tim Gurner.

"Collingwood continues to witness impressive capital growth and is fuelled by a population of young professionals and couples who have embraced apartment living.

"For us this underpins our development acquisition strategy as it indicates that demand for luxury apartment offerings will remain strong," Mr Gurner said.

Mr Gurner believes that the recent regulatory and bank funding changes have made it more difficult to get large-scale projects off the ground, and the current funding climate has slowed the tide of planned apartment stock hitting the market.

"I strongly believe that markets always self-regulate and that is exactly what is happening in the current environment with funding now very difficult for both developers and end purchasers alike to achieve, coupled with the recent planning changes and sales becoming more difficult to generate.

"We spend a lot of time analysing all the numbers and we are of the strong belief that there is a substantial undersupply of apartments in Melbourne’s inner suburbs, as first and second home buyers are priced out of the established home market and investors have limited options to invest in with a turbulent stock market and bank deposit rates being so low.

"What many people tend to forget is that Melbourne needs 60,000 new dwellings every year for the next 30 years just to keep up with our population growth, so good quality apartments in the right location that offer access to existing amenity and infrastructure will continue to be in demand for many years to come,” he said.

The developer is aiming to take the project to market some time in 2017.

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