100% Sold & Settled and Looking Amazing!

Point Polaris has been proud to work alongside Callex Group to help them deliver their first project in Australia – and what a stunner it is.

Keeping our eye on the ball right to the end was integral to the final success of The Beckworth, Glen Iris.

With a fastidious eye for detail, Project Manager Chris Yang worked alongside both the client and Settlement Manager, Kin Property to make sure the settlement process ran smoothly. This meant managing purchaser changes so all parties were on the same page and working closely with the builder HDP so all the certificates could be received on time to trigger settlement. All of this was done, of course, within budget.

The result a 100% sold and settled project. And a very happy client

 

Melbourne Boutique Apartment Market Comes Back Strong

While caution still reigns in some quarters in Melbourne with interstate migration down, international borders closed and international students only trickling in over the coming months, the small to mid-size boutique apartment market continues to boom.

Point Polaris has benefited from this confidence with our appointment to 3 new high quality apartment projects in Brighton, St Kilda and Armadale.

The Martin, Brighton

First-off we will be working with EBG Developments to assist them in the delivery of Martin, Brighton.

This elegant Bayside address will become home to eleven boutique apartments with Interiors thoughtfully created by Mim Design to suit the vibrancy of Brighton living.

“In paying respect to the residential characteristics of the surrounding distinguished suburb, it is crucial this building responds to design with a timeless substance, ensuring it harmoniously settles into its environment.” Miriam Fanning – MIM Design

Project Website 

Point Polaris will provide Project Management services with construction planned to commence at the end of this year.

333 St Kilda Road, St Kilda

We are also delighted to have been appointed by Malaysian developer Matrix Concepts as project managers for the redevelopment of the Habitat HQ Backpackers at 333 – 335 St Kilda Road in Melbourne.

The 2,540sq m corner property will be replaced by a 7-storey mixed-use development project which includes residential apartments and a double storey Penthouse plus Retail /Café at Ground Level and a 2-level Basement Car Park.

Construction is anticipated to start QTR2 of next year.

Vitae, Armadale

Finally, construction is already underway at Vitae, Armadale with the appointment of D5 Building Group.

Vitae – representing life, living and the natural world – is a luxury, boutique development of 14 two and three-bedroom garden-focused apartments by Luxmile.

Every apartment is a corner residence, meaning light, ventilation and views are a striking feature of each home with outdoor space and secure parking as standard.

Project Website

333 St Kilda Road
Vitae, Armadale

New Community Precinct and Multi-Stage Development Launches in Melbourne’s Inner West

Melbourne based development group ANPLUS has officially launched Seddon Square.

The 1.4 hectare site will be released over four stages, with stage one including 77 residences, stages two and three including 15 townhouses and 168 apartments and stage four including 142 apartments.

Generous open spaces feature throughout the development including a 1,700 square metre park, green pedestrian links and a thriving meeting square to address the lack of public open space identified in the City of Maribyrnong Open Space strategy.

Other features include a multi-purpose and large co-working hub centred around a landscaped courtyard, as well as access to a gym and private and communal terraces. Parcel lockers, dining rooms, a dog wash and a workshop room, as well as retail on the ground floor will also be available. Residents can access these amenities via a Resident App, making living, working and relaxing at Seddon Square even easier.

Point Polaris is delighted to have been engaged to provide development advisory and project management services for the development.

Construction is expected to commence later in the year on the first residential stage, Walter Lane.

What Does A Benchmark Suburban Office Look Like?

The spectacular 627 Chapel Street by Goldfields Group has reached an exciting milestone with the structure officially reaching its highest point ahead of scheduled programme.

Increased attention now focuses on finishing trades to typical office floors and podium glazing works. The next couple of weeks will see the commencement of external civil and landscape works.

The project encompasses the construction of a new 24,000m2, 24 storey PCA A-Grade commercial tower, with 5 Star Green Star and 5 Star NABERS ratings.

Features of the project include a roof top terrace, a feature entry lobby and 134 car parks across a five-level basement with a provision for car charging stations.

You can see progress here:   

We look forward to successfully delivering this landmark office development for our client Goldfields Group.

PROJECT COMPLETE | BESPOKE

Bespoke, with it’s contemporary brickwork facade occupies Malvern Road and sits seamlessly within the surrounding architecture of Glen Iris.

Congratulations to everyone involved in this achievement including:
Catch Developments
Plus Architecture Pty Ltd
Manresa Constructions Pty Ltd

Point Polaris was delighted to have provided Development Advisory and Project Management Services.

Photo Gallery: https://manresa.com.au/portfolio/bespoke-apartments/

BUDGET: STAMP DUTY & BTR LAND TAX DISCOUNTS – HEAR FROM INDUSTRY EXPERTS

The cost of stamp duty will be slashed by up to 50 per cent in Victoria under a new move announced in the state budget this week.

Those buying existing homes will receive a 25 per cent discount on stamp duty, up to the same value.

The full 50 per cent discount will only apply to newly built homes valued up to $1 million and will be in place until the end of June, 2021.

The announcement, one of Tuesday’s big ticket items, aims to make housing more affordable and accessible.

The stamp duty discount was not the only housing-related tax to be reduced: a 50 per cent land tax discount for build-to-rent (BTR) developments was also announced as part of the budget.

“Investment in the BTR sector will provide greater choice and diversity of housing options for renters and support Victoria’s economic recovery,” the budget papers said.

The budget has also set aside $52 million for planning reforms and increasing housing supply across the state.

Andrew Leoncelli, Managing Director Residential Projects Victoria from CBRE said:

“Any reduction in stamp duty is welcomed especially as we start the post pandemic recovery process. We support the initiative particularly as it applies to both occupiers and investors alike. The market is very much in need of this continued government support.”

Chris Moyle, Chief Investment Officer from Corsair Investment Management said:

“In the face of strong economic headwinds, stamp duty relief will give a much-needed boost to housing, a vital part of the Victorian economy. We also welcome land tax relief for Build to Rent which brings it to a more level playing field and will help increase Victoria’s housing diversity.”

 

Milijana Bojic, Senior Relationship Manager – Property from Westpac said:

“Once any distressed sales are ironed out, we are expecting a recovery supported by sustained low rates, which are likely to be even lower than current levels; ongoing support from regulators; substantially improved affordability; sustained fiscal support from both federal and state governments; and a strengthening economic recovery (which seems to hinge on a vaccine).

While the government will want to stimulate the local economy to create jobs prior to the onset of the pandemic, the market had been holding well and expectations were that under building would occur from this financial year unless new starts lifted. However, the economic recession and measures taken to slow the spread of COVID19 have meant immigration numbers will be severely limited this financial year, with the Federal Treasury suggesting an 85% fall . Completions in inner Melbourne in 2020/21 suggested minor oversupply. However, increased migration is likely post 2021 and with approvals falling and new starts expected to be low in 2020/21, undersupply is likely from 2021 onwards, until new supply lifts.

The impact on the market from closed borders to migrants will continue to be significant until they re-open. The 4,509 units due to complete by mid 2021 in Melbourne CBD alone is around 7.7% of existing stock and although there will be some owner occupied, if placed on the rental market will add to competition. The risk of further price and rental falls is very high over the short term. The question is how attractive Melbourne remains once borders are open, given their second wave and weaker economy. Certainly, interstate migration will be affected for a short term at least, but strong international migration will be need to absorb the excess.”

Simon Manley, General Manager from Hengyi said: 

‘We expect this scheme to benefit the land subdivision space and smaller townhouse developments where the size and accommodation meets the sub $1m price point. Inner city apartment stock has been supported by years of international investment of which the brakes have been put on by a combination of COVID, and a natural slowing of investment from parts of Asia. First homeowners generally don’t seek inner city medium to high density properties (apartments), so there is a very small buyer pool for this space. The price point for smaller ‘outer’ city apartment projects we would expect to perform well with the incentive due to local owners not necessarily desiring living in the CBD’.

Sam Failla, Director of Development at Newcity (AUS) Development Group said:

“I think the stamp duty reduction is a good short term incentive that will finally provide the off the plan sales something to grapple with in going forward especially for those that have projects ready to launch to the market. I do think however that we need longer measures, so I’m hoping it will be extended as it provides just over 6 months when considering the Xmas break. It can also have the effect of too many projects hitting the market simultaneously and unready projects hitting the market. We still need more for local investors and FIRB buyers to offset the medium decline in population growth which is having an impact on the rental market.”

Robert Clarke, Director from Point Polaris said:

“We believe the reduction in stamp duty for both owner occupiers and investors purchasing properties less than $1million will be the catalyst for a strong market recovery in 2021.”

 

627 CHAPEL ST HAS REACHED MID-POINT IN THE CONSTRUCTION PROGRAMME

627 Chapel St will reshape the commercial landscape of Melbourne’s inner city. 

Construction Update:

Despite February’s snap COVID lockdown, solid progress has continued throughout 2021.

The month of March saw a significant milestones achieved, with CitiPower completing their works to the substation and permanent power on at the main switchboard. The tower’s lift shaft has been built up to level 20 and the level 16 slab works are now complete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The project is now visually coming to life as 40% of the tower’s external glazing has been installed. 

The basement lifts have been completed with their interior finishes fitted and the internal finishes (tiling, sanitary fixtures, etc.) have been procured. The lower levels also have their internal fitouts well underway.

June will see some of the floor levels finished and ready for handover for early tenant fitout integration.

With progress continuing at this current pace, we can expect 627 Chapel Street ready for completion in late 2021.

 

 

 

 

 

TENDERING IN A COVID ENVIRONMENT: WEBINAR TAKEAWAYS

The last 6 months have been challenging for the whole property development sector.

 

Despite Melbourne slowly starting to come out of lockdown, the impact of COVID is likely to be seen well into 2021.

 

Inevitably there is still a lot of nervous sentiment out there. But are there also opportunities?

Point Polaris Director, Rob Clarke, in collaboration with Slattery Director, Barry Laycock recently got together to share their thoughts on whether now is a good time to tender construction projects.

 

You can view the session by clicking here

They look at the current state of the market, construction prices and what is affecting them, How do you select the right builder and what are the risks and impacts that need to be considered depending on your development type?

 

The Point Polaris Outlook Residential Debate: From Coronavirus to Funding: What Are The Challenges and Opportunities for 2020?

Point Polaris is seeing significant optimism return to the residential market. We are working on projects of all scales and typologies from boutique owner occupier apartment and townhouse projects to large residential towers geared more towards investors. We have helped Greystar in their recent acquisition in South Yarra, which will be Australia’s biggest Build to Rent project and we have recently kicked off a new land sub-division project.

But what is next for the Residential market?

  • Does innovation = greater risk?
  • Is 2020 the year of the Investor, Owner/Occupier, Renter?
  • Development sites – where is hot, where is not? Are they still overpriced?
  • The importance of finding the right builder – is it getting harder?
  • Is funding going to loosen up
  • Is sales success all about Price, location, design – do people expect / want more?

Point Polaris assembled a stellar panel including Chris Moyle (CM), Director & Head of Real Estate (VIC) at Westpac; Jessica Liew (JL), Director at Plus Architecture; Sean Ryan (SR), Director of Development at Greystar; Brett Howlett (BH), Project Director at Riverlee; and Henry Burbury (HB), Director at CBRE to discuss these issues and more, moderated by Managing Director, Andrew Hogan (AH)

General Views:

CM: Pre-sales are still generally moving slowly and so it is a challenging environment to lend into. Banks want to participate and support good customers and product, but there are constraints as to the volumes we can do on traditional development loans with relatively low presales.

Whilst there are challenges, we are still funding large and small residential developments, backing good customers and using innovative structures to participate while meeting our risk and regulatory obligations. We are generally optimistic about residential as we see supply dropping off in the coming 18-24 months.

HB: 2019 was a challenge but since the Federal Election optimism has returned. In 2020 we have already seen a strong return of the downsizer and owner/occupier market.

I had 115 Groups through recently at the new Walker Corporation development in Kew. After that first weekend, we are already at 85% sold.

Developments of 50 units and less in blue chip suburbs close to retail amenity are definitely the ones that have bounced back quickest and strongest

But towards the back end of the year we anticipate seeing the return of investors interested in medium/high density product.

BH: We definitely feel confident being in the Owner-occupier space right now. Our Seafarers development on Northbank, includes 125 high-end apartments with a median price point of $2.2m. We already have 30% away without a proper launch

Most of these sales are coming through the display suite. People will come through 3 to 4 times before they buy, so it is about developing a relationship with them and establishing a culture of trust that addresses and solves their needs. Price is less of an issues.

SR: With more than 500,000 units under management and 25 years’ experience in Build-to-Rent (or multi-family as it is known in the States), Greystar has a real understanding of how people live

Putting the tax barrier challenge to one-side, both we and the BTR movement more generally is gathering momentum and the supply/demand metrics are starting to stack up.

The model is tight though with leasing velocity balanced by construction prices. 

CM: Conceptually the Banks understand the BTR value proposition and are supportive. We do occupy the less-risky end of the spectrum so there are challenges around “banking” new income streams and also the bases for valuations that will make high gearing challenging initially. In this sense there are similarities with student accommodation in the early 2010’s.

SR: That Greystar is backed by top tier funds is starting to give the banks more certainty and confidence.

JL: From a design perspective, for the owner-occupier market customisation is key. As architects our designs need to have the ability to flex and adapt to specific needs.

With investor stock product, we are finding that the 1-bedroom is making a big comeback

We have been involved in a recent project where 80% of the development is 1-bedders rather than the 80% 2-bed mix that had started becoming the norm.

The Rise of the 1-Bedder

JL: It should be noted that the rise of the 1-bedder in our experience is demographic specific and not a universal trend.

BH: The industry definitely needs to give more thought to the 1-bed product again. If Riverlee had our time again we would put more 1-bedders in Seafarers. We have some 60+sqm 1-bedders priced at $825k. This is new territory from a price point. It is clear that money is not the driver, it is about having a city centre bolt-hole.

And from a developer’s perspective it also gives flexibility. It is fairly easy to combine them to make larger apartments if necessary.

HB: Absolutely agree. At The International in Brighton for Landream and V-Leader. We had 6 1-bedders forced on us. They are around 75sqm in size and priced at $785k but two have already sold. They are seen as affordable relative to the wider Brighton market and ideally suited to a divorcee/widower keen to stay in the suburb.

Coronavirus Impact

HB: From a sales perspective we are not panicking. We still have strong clearance rates, lower interest rates and are viewing it as a speed hump. Good suburbs will always bounce back quickly

BH: It is certainly permeating through the property market, but we are a sentiment- based industry; whether it was APRA, C270 or SARS, history has told us that the market deals with it

SR: The biggest challenge is the reliance on China for our building supply chain. Greystar may not have anything under construction but delays on site are going to  occur and the knock on effect is surely to last a good way through 2020.

AH: Our contracts protect our clients and so we are having to work collaboratively with builders to find solutions, because unfortunately for them it is “your delay, not ours.”

CM: The problem is we really don’t know how big an issue it is or will be. Banks are in the risk game and at the moment the risk is more uncertain and unstable. It is not an economic event like we’ve become somewhat accustomed to so may have an unpredictable impact. It’s therefore a good time to remain alert, think system-wide and not under-estimate the possible impact. But the uncertainty will bring opportunity, and never waste a crisis!

Flammable Cladding: Is It Still A Question?

BH: The off the plan market is very sophisticated now. More often than not the first question we get is ‘who is building the development?’

There is natural scepticism in the off-the-plan market; It is not just cladding but the structure and the interior finish.

We believe that a good marketing campaign relies on a good builder being part of that. We like the Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) process as it creates a partner mentality that works throughout the life of the project.

HB: A at recent downsizer event we held in Brighton, the flammable cladding question was a ‘go to question’ in most conversations we had. CBRE also supports early appointment of a builder.

But does also depend on the product; it is an issue for the owner-occupier but less so for the investor

Amenity: Creating Communities

HB: For the downsizer, a common question we are asked is: ‘What is my body corporate fee?’

They want the apartment to look amazing and have a community feel but they are less concerned about the gym or the sauna. They prefer low cost amenity like a grand arrival or rooftop space. But for the investor market they need the bells and whistles.

JL: Plus Architecture handed over a project at the end of last year with no amenity. It is located in the heart of Glen Waverley with everything on the doorstep and the client sold the suburb amenity.

So as not to impact on body corporate fees we are now designing more penthouses with their own private pools and gyms.

SR: In BTR we are trying to build a community and actively encourage residents to leave their apartments. We put our amenity in the best parts of the building so everyone can enjoy the views of the city, for example

Volume in the building is needed though to make it work cost-effectively.

Beyond the physical amenity, we are also looking more and more at social amenity. In the States ‘dog runs’ resonate, for example, where we encourage, not exclude dog owners. In San Diego, their development even has a ‘dog of the week’ award!

Fostering and encouraging the Interaction of residents and curating events managed by Greystar staff gives an extra layer to our developments.

Planning: Does It Help To Have A ‘Sexy Building’

Phil Gleeson, Urbis (Audience Member): Good design and good amenity definitely help in selling a proposal to the council and community.

Blue chip suburbs also demand a blue chip architect. Buyers demand a brand; “not only do I live in suburb X but I live in a building designed by architect Y.”

Is Climate Change still a driver?

BH: All developers should be socially responsible. Having a green story still helps from a marketing perspective. The question is whether the market is prepared to pay for it. Our experience is they would rather pay for the amenity.

Small gestures, like green switches, that are tangible and not cost-prohibitive are better.

JL: We are again finding with this that it is demographic and buyer dependent too. It is more likely to make a difference in Brunswick than South Yarra.

SR: As long-term owners we take a full lifecycle approach to our developments. We like systems that provide operational efficiency and reduce maintenance and running costs for our tenants.

Affordable Housing: Should It Be Mandated by Government

AH: When helping clients acquire sites, we advise on and create strategies for the highest and best use of these sites. Unfortunately, at the moment, affordable housing is never going to give you the best returns. There can only be a level playing field if it is mandated

HOTELS: 2020 VISION – The Architects’ Perspective

2019 saw some creatively designed new and refurbished hotels open their doors to guests.

From the Ritz-Carlton Perth in the West, with the striking exterior and lobby adorned with 10,000 pieces of handpicked Kimberley sandstone, to the $40m revitalisation of Sydney’s venerable Sheraton on the Park in the East.

But what can we expect in 2020 and beyond?

We asked three of Australia’s leading practices for their views on the hot design trends likely to shape hotels of the future.

The common themes throughout are customer experience and sense of place. 

 

 

Craig Baudin, Director at Fender Katsalidis Architects

A sense of place in a diverse world

“A fundamental shift has occurred in the idea of hotels as a “constant” when travelling, of a trusted brand that offers the same experience wherever you visit anywhere in the world. For some people this kind of experience offers predictability in a diverse world, but the new generation of travellers want their hotel experience to be unique, and deeply authentic to the place they are visiting. For the hotels that do this best, this means going beyond the obvious clichés that are associated with a particular city and offering an experience that is rooted in that neighbourhood.

In tandem with this shift to the authentic and local, many contemporary hotels are changing the way they interact with their neighbourhoods and the public. Hotels have become increasingly more welcoming spaces for non-guests, welcoming the city into their more public areas, and embracing the life and activity this brings to lobbies and public spaces.”

Craig Baudin

Email: cbaudin@fkaustralia.com

Callum Fraser, Founder & Architect at Elenberg Fraser

Curated experiences and the experience economy.

“Travel the world and the seven seas, everybody is looking for something. The shape of the future of hotels is human. In an experiential economy consumers will no longer book accommodation, they will book an experience.

When designing hotel environments we must view the world through the traveller’s eyes, examining the crucial moments of their experience to create sensory relationships beyond just the visual – how do your surroundings make you feel or behave? The future of hotel spaces are memorable, both evocative and provocative.

Technological integration is crucial in fostering this distinctly emotional connection. Seamless experiences from airport to accommodation, customization and continuous connectivity allows the traveller to transform the hotel environment to their whim. ”

Callum Fraser

Email: mail@elenbergfraser.com

 

Madeleine Joyce, Senior Associate at Architectus

“Customer experience will continue to play a key role in hotel design in 2020.  In the past, we’ve seen how the curated experience of co-working has shaken up the way Workplace is designed and this approach is set to challenge hotel design.

Thoughtful design which combines comfort with impactful and memorable moments is imperative. Consumer expectations are higher than they’ve ever been and with the popularity of Airbnb, large hotel brands have had to adapt accordingly to create ‘home away from a home experiences’, something which boutique hotels have managed to capture more successfully.

For example, what type of coffee making facilities are offered in each room? Are there sufficient coat hangers? Are the pillows comfortable? We are more focused on the offerings which create our overall experience and this should flow through the design of every space, whether it’s the guest rooms, the lobby or the restaurant. The design needs to enhance the user experience and provide respite from everyday life.”

Email: Madeleine.Joyce@architectus.com.au

Point Polaris currently has more than 1,100 hotel rooms under management. This includes delivery of Melbourne’s largest new build hotel – Hilton Melbourne Square – for OSK Property, and Melbourne’s largest new dual-branded hotel at 539-545 Flinders Lane for The Ormond Group.

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