As the Brisbane apartment market continues to show signs of improvement, developers are shifting their focus to boutique projects which appeal to the local owner-occupier market.
The signs in the Brisbane apartment market have been more optimistic of late, with Corelogic-Moody's Analytics recent home value index forecasting Brisbane's apartment values to recover in 2020 after a tough few years following the construction glut between 2013 and 2016.
It also seems that the limited new projects launched in the last two years have created vacancy that will continue to tighten as supply drives up.
And no where is supply more in demand than in Brisbane’s cafe culture hubs of New Farm and West End. Nestled in some of Brisbane’s premiere shopping and dining hubs, they epitomise a the ideal fringe CBD locations, surrounded by a constantly evolving cityscape of eateries, boutiques and essential amenities.
New Farm, one of Brisbane’s best performing suburbs over the past decade, growing by 76.2 per cent in that time, offering sought out lifestyle attributes like bars, restaurants, breweries and high-end fashion stores.
Brisbane’s West End has been hive of development activity of late. Supply of new apartments in West End peaked in 2017, with close to 900 apartments delivered that year. This has steadily decreased with about 200 apartments due to be completed this calendar year.
Here are four notable low-rise medium-density residential projects — flagged by DA tool CityShape — that have recently entered planning assessment or been approved across Brisbane.
155 Moray Street, New Farm
Brisbane-based developer QM Properties has received approval for its latest residential development, a $32 million project dubbed Anthology, in Brisbane's suburb of New Farm.
QM acquired the site in 2015 for $5.7 million and quickly set plans in motion for an owner-occupier focused development comprising of 26 residences.
The project will comprise just 26 residences, including apartments with a range of different floor plans.
The Rothelowman-designed development will also feature three exclusive penthouses, comprising three bedrooms, three bathrooms and three carparks, with panoramic views of the Story Bridge and CBD skyline, as well as views across the New Farm peninsula
Colliers International residential director Andrew Roubicek, who is marketing Anthology, said the project is positioned to take advantage of New Farm's prime location and popularity.
“New Farm has always been one of the city's favourite areas, with recent Real Estate Institute of Queensland research showing it is in Brisbane's top three highest value suburbs, with home prices jumping 65.3 per cent in the past five years,” Roubicek said.
“In the current market buyers are looking closely not only at a project's location and lifestyle offering, but also the credentials of the developer and architect, and both QM Properties and Rothelowman have a long and proven track record for quality.”
QM Properties has also recently completed Corde Apartments in East Brisbane and is planning to build a 34-unit development on a riverfront site in St Lucia, which it purchased for $8.5 million last year.
The developer has recently amended the 160 Macquarie Street site DA to provide a boutique luxury apartment project comprising 34 three bedroom apartments.
60 Moray Street, New Farm
Local Brisbane developers Frank and Graya Developments has lodged plans for a residential project in New Farm.
The project, dubbed The Maison, will comprise of a collection of five single floor apartments, each featuring four-bedrooms.
The 1,060sq m project will include architectural landscaping inspired by sub-tropical influences and an overall design “inspired by” Sydney's Barangaroo House.
The “skyhomes” have been specifically designed to have an abundance of natural light, and cross ventilation wrapped in landscaping.
“The architectural brief for the project was to create a collection of sky-homes which have the same special qualities and characteristics of a home,” Adsett Architects director Joe Adsett said.
Situated only minutes from Brisbane’s Howard Smith Wharves the development will offer views of the Brisbane CBD Skyline and the iconic Story Bridge.
“We wanted to craft a project that was unlike anything New Farm has seen, that meant scaling back the quantity of units and focusing on the needs and wants of owner occupiers,” Frank Developments director Frank Licastro said.
“Four units have direct lift entry and access to the communal rooftop pool and recreation deck, not to mention the internal quality in the high end finishes and spacious floor plans.”
“The top floor penthouse has its own private exclusive rooftop pool, dining and lounge which capitalises on the river and city views,” Licastro said.
Pending approval, the development is anticipated to be delivered late-2020.
80 Oxlade Drive, New Farm
Brisbane-based developer Seymour Group, led by Queensland rich-lister Kevin Seymour, has launched The Oxlade.
Seymour has been shaping Brisbane’s skyline for more than five decades and is responsible for some of the city’s well-known developments such as Queens Plaza and MacArthur Chambers.
Seymour has four grandchildren, with the eldest, Daniel Farquhar, already well entrenched in the Seymour Group for the past decade.
Remaining grandchildren Kate, Trent and Ben Seymour, are now at the helm of their first residential project, The Oxlade.
Seymour acquired the 2,388sq m riverfront site for $17.3 million late-2016 and quickly set plans in motion for a modelled on a "six-star hotel".
The Bureau Proberts-designed project consists of 39 residences, including two penthouses and 20 three-bedroom, three-car riverfront apartments with a separate media room. Each residence will have individually secured garages.
“The Oxlade is a must have address and my brief to architect Liam Proberts was to design the ultimate residential masterpiece as anything less would not do this 2,388sq m riverfront parcel of land justice,” Seymour said.
The property sold six apartments and welcomed upwards of 80 groups on its opening weekend with construction of the 39 ultra luxury units set to begin at the end of the year.
8-10 Amersham Street, West End
Brisbane-based Di Marco Group and Singaporean TG Development have lodged plans for their second residential site in Brisbane, a boutique apartment development in West End.
The five-level development, dubbed Amersham West End, will comprise 24 two, three and four-bedroom residences targeted at owner-occupiers.
The 1,325sq m site, located at 8-10 Amersham Street, was purchased for $4.1 million from a local family that had owned the property for over half a century.
According to Di Marco Group managing director Adam Di Marco, the site represents a unique opportunity to capture the holy trinity: elevated, north-east facing city views.
Colliers International Adam Rubie and Brendan Hogan negotiated the sale of the Amersham Street site, which is zoned ‘low medium density residential’.
“In the last 18 months, we are seeing Brisbane-based development groups focussing on the inner-city sites and looking to build boutique premium projects in response to market demand, Colliers International executive Adam Rubie said.
Amersham, designed by local architecture firm Arkhefield, is the second residential development by Di Marco Group and TG, following the $3.85 million acquisition of a 486sq m site at 466 Ann Street last year.
The Ann Street development will be the first boutique residential project to be built in Brisbane's CBD in almost two decades. The building will comprise 19 single-floor apartments.
The ever evolving suburb of West End, from an inner-city industrial area to a vibrant mixed-use lifestyle precinct, has continued to interest developers and investors aiming to build on a fringe CBD suburb well-positioned for future growth.
Sydney-based Crown Group recently received approval for its $350 million Fjmt-designed residential development which will see the addition of 400 apartments to the river front site at 117 Victoria Street.
Major development projects in West End also include Japanese developer Sekisui’s $800 million mixed-use precinct West Village project, and Pradella’s Light & Co project as part of its broader $1 billion investment in West End.
Developer R&F Property lodged a development application for stage one of its $500 million project, revised to 12-storeys, toward the close of last year. The amalgamated 1.6 hectare site straddles Donkin and Hoskings streets.
Editor's note: Adam Di Marco, founder of the Urban Developer, is a director of Di Marco Group.