Gurner Bets on High End Downsizers with $60 million Hawksburn Project


Property developer Gurner has recently obtained a planning permit for its latest development in Hawksburn Village, Prahran, where they plan to focus on creating large three and four bedroom homes to respond to the demand from downsizer owner-occupiers.

According to Gurner director Tim Gurner, the demand from downsizers at the high end of the market has been the largest demographic shift into the new apartment market he has witnessed as a developer – and he has made the call to effectively halve the number of apartments in the group's latest project.

Originally, Gurner had planned for the project to encompass approximately 60 apartments, however the team had set about reconfiguring the entire project to half the number of apartments, including just four two-bedroom apartments with the remaining 25 apartments designed as three and four bedroom penthouse-style residences.

The 1450 square metre site at 162-164 Williams Road currently houses the Gurner office, Escor Group, along with a collection of other retail and residential buildings.

Gurner will now develop the site into a six-level boutique residential address with a wine bar from the owners of the acclaimed Toorak Cellars and Milton Wine Shop, in what represents their fifth collaboration with the developer.

The Escor Group will occupy the remaining ground floor commercial space as its main family office.

Gurner has also purchased an adjoining site at 7-9 Robinson Street, where the existing owners had applied for a planning permit and had recently been rejected by Council.

The developer will now look to submit further plans for an adjoining site in the coming months, which will then be home to the Gurner Melbourne head office.

“The recent demand from downsizers has been the largest and most significant demographic shift into the new apartment market that I have seen as a developer in recent times," director Tim Gurner said.

“Blue chip locations like this are seeing huge demand for large quality apartments to cater for downsizers selling their houses in the Eastern suburbs and beyond. With A-grade suburbs doubling in the past three years people are realising that equity and purchasing a luxury apartment with the sale of the family home, in addition to a beach or country property.

“As a result, we have designed this entire project around this market. We have taken out all one bedroom apartments and left just a handful of two bedrooms, with the balance to be designed as luxury three and four bedroom luxury dwellings that will be sized between 150 square metres to 350 square metres.

The top floor penthouse will encompass an entire floor with a 360-degree wrap-around balcony offering incredible views over the city skyline.

Many apartments will feature enormous outdoor terraces that will even enable residences to opt for a private swimming pool, while a dedicated concierge service will be on-site, offering the same level of service and amenity as a 5-star luxury hotel.

Gurner is now finalising the interior designs for the apartments and will aim to launch the project to the market towards the end of the year.

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