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Brisbane’s tallest tower heralds a coming of age for the river city

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Brisbane's tallest tower heralds a coming of age for the river city

Brisbane is often, perhaps mockingly, referred to as a “big country town” but that label could more appropriately be applied to a single building in the CBD.

Skytower, nearing completion at 222 Margaret Street, is so big it can house the entire population of Longreach.

Skytower soars to the city’s tallest allowable height of 274 metres, with construction set to wrap up by June.

The ear-popping elevator ride to the 90th floor takes almost two minutes, where construction is almost complete on what the developers claim is the highest infinity pool on Earth.

Brisbane's tallest tower heralds a coming of age for river city

Tradies working on the bellwether building spend their lunch hour towering over the city and enjoying the views from a height that dwarfs surrounding skyscrapers and reduces trucks to the size of ants.

As the builders polish off their packed lunches – and if the haze abates – they say they can catch a glimpse of Stradbroke Island’s sand dunes or the Gold Coast’s skyline.

Sydney-based property developer Billbergia, investment company AMP Capital and Hutchinson Builders are behind the project, nicknamed the “Christmas bon-bon”for its three distinct sections.

About 650 apartments in the bottom two thirds are now occupied, while builders work to finish the top section by June.

At the top of each section is a pool, gym and streamroom, but only occupants in the top section will have access to the infinity pool.

Ten years ago, the plan for the Margaret Street site looked very different.

The “Vision Tower” was slated to win the race to be Brisbane’s tallest building – until the global financial crisis and the site was sold off to Billbergia.

Vision was to be a curved, 283-metre skyscraper with an observation deck, 13 floors of commercial space and 376 residential apartments over 72 floors.

Construction on Vision did not pass the excavation stage. The resulting huge hole in the ground sat dormant after developer Austcorp went into receivership in 2009 and famously filled up with water during the Brisbane flood of 2011.

Brisbane City Council gave the green light for Skytower to go ahead in 2014 after years of false starts, and construction kicked off the following year.

The tower has been settled in stages in order for the senior debt to be paid down and to avoid the chaos of 3000 people moving in at the same time.

Billbergia spokesman Rick Graf said the exclusive top eight floors, filled with penthouses, had not yet been released to market but were expected to go on sale by the end of the year.

Brisbane's tallest tower heralds a coming of age for the river city

The largest penthouse was expected to sell for about $8 million, though Mr Graf played coy on the value of the apartment, which spans three levels.

“It is not only a large building, but it is refined, elegant and beautifully finished,” he said.

“When everyone gets a chance to walk through the main foyer later this year, they will be very impressed.”

Mr Graf said about 90 per cent of the 900 apartments already sold were snapped up by Australian buyers, many from south-east Queensland.

The Australian Financial Review reported some owners discounted apartments by up to 10 per cent to make a sale.

Apartment 1316 of Skytower was purchased off the plan for $696,960 in 2015 and sold by owner Hyoung Suk Kwon for $608,880.

While Skytower was the first to reach Brisbane’s height ceiling, it will not be the last.

Five other buildings have received Brisbane City Council approval to reach the aviation-enforced 274-metre limit.

155 Edward Street

Aria Property Group was approved to build an 82-storey gold-coloured tower on the corner of Edward and Elizabeth streets, near St Stephen’s Catholic Cathedral.

300 George Street (The One)

The 82-storey residential tower is part of the $800 million Brisbane Quarter at the old law courts on George Street. The One will sit alongside a 39-storey office building and the 32-storey W Brisbane Hotel.

Brisbane's tallest tower heralds a coming of age the river city

217 George Street (No.1 Brisbane)

No. 1 Brisbane will tower above Brisbane’s busy Queen Street Mall and plans promised the skyscraper to include a bar, retail and a public entertainment space.

240 Margaret Street

This 91-storey skyscraper will neighbour the “Christmas bon-bon” on Margaret Street and will include 783 units.

30 Albert Street

Singapore-based developer Aspial, which also bought the site at 240 Margaret Street, is constructing a “vertical community” with elevated gardens on Albert Street.

The six towers touching the city limits are part of a massive growth across Brisbane’s CBD which are set to transform the Queensland capital by 2022.

Lord mayor Graham Quirk said Brisbane was a growing city with about 50 CBD skyscrapers expected to be built over the coming 20 years, to accommodate the demand for commercial and residential growth.

Brisbane's tallest tower heralds a coming of age for the river city.

“More people are living in the Brisbane CBD than ever before and by 2031 an additional 80,000 employees will be working in the city centre,” he said.

“Brisbane’s CBD skyline has the potential to accommodate buildings of a greater height than the current maximum of 274 metres and it is important that we have a broader discussion about this opportunity, to avoid missing out on economic investment and local jobs.

Cr Quirk said there was still a “clear interest from industry to go higher”.

“With aviation safety as a clear priority, we should still be able to have areas of the city where we might be able to go to 300 metres to provide some flexibility in the medium-term,” he said.

“I want to ensure we protect our city’s strong aviation safety record but I think we should have a sensible conversation around flight paths and future technological changes in aviation that may create the potential for, if not all, some parts of the city to at least be able to go higher.”

 

 

Source: www.smh.com.au

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Developments

Crane Spotting: Gold Coast Cranes Rise as Brisbane Sees Decline

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Crane Spotting Gold Coast Cranes Rise as Brisbane Sees Decline-min

Brisbane suffered the biggest decline in cranes standing across its city, while coastal neighbour the Gold Coast recorded a 33 per cent increase, according to the latest Rider Levett Bucknall Crane Index.

Brisbane is home to a remaining 59 cranes, down from 72 counted six months ago.

Based on the idea that cranes in the sky reflect major project construction, the RLB index tracks the number of tower cranes in key Australian cities to indicate the strength of the construction sector.

Brisbane’s decline reflects the fall in building work done for the calendar year 2018.

Crane Spotting Gold Coast Cranes Rise Brisbane Sees Decline-min

The residential sector declined by 7.2 per cent, with declines recorded for both new houses and apartments, and the nonresidential sector fell by 4.2 per cent.

The overall decline of eight cranes in inner Brisbane was driven by the mixed-use sector.

Cranes were removed from Howard Smith Wharves, 949 Ann Street, Queens Wharf and South City Square based in inner Brisbane which accounted for eight dismantled cranes.

Crane Spotting Gold Coast Cranes Rise as Brisbane Sees Decline-min

The residential count of cranes sits at 42.

Residential projects nearing completion include the Skyneedle Apartments with all three cranes removed, Student One’s 97 Elizabeth Street which had two cranes removed.

New projects where cranes commenced were recorded in Brisbane, Bulimba, Greenslopes, Hamilton, Kangaroo Point, New Farm, Newstead, South Brisbane, Toowong, Westend, Windsor and Yeronga.

Crane spotting on the Goldie

The Gold Coast continues its upward trajectory on the crane index, recording a 33 per cent rise.

Eighteen cranes were added and ten were removed bringing the coast’s total to 32.

The residential sector makes up 94 per cent of all Gold Coast cranes, with the highest number located in the Palm beach area.

New residential cranes were added to developments, including Bluewater in Bilinga, Vue Apartments and Elysian in Broadbeach.

Crane Spotting Gold Coast Cranes Rise as Brisbane Sees Decline.-min

Work continues at the Jewel Residences, two cranes were removed from the project, leaving two on site.

Other projects with continuing cranes include Anchorage Apartments in Hope Island, Otto in Mermaid, the Jefferson in Palm Beach, South Lakes Stage 3 in Reedy Creek, 23 Norman Street and 6 Meron Street in Southport.

 

Source: goldcoastinvestor.com.au

 

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Anglican Church Lists Brisbane Site

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Anglican Church Lists Brisbane Site

Expressions of interest are being sought for land forming part of the historic St Andrew’s Anglican Church, at 673 Lutwyche Road.

The approximately 3,000sq m portion of land, zoned Community Facilities, is open to all opportunities, including joint venture, lease and partial sale.

The site is marketed by Ray White Special Projects Queensland Matthew Fritzsche and Andrew Burke.

Fritzsche said the location of the asset and the multitude of development opportunities would appeal to a variety of potential parties.

“Being zoned community facility under the Brisbane City Plan means the site is well suited to a number of uses including child care, swim school, allied health, education and community residential,” he said.

“The asset sits adjoining the Wooloowin State School, which is earmarked for future expansion, and its close proximity to a strong catchment area of schools is a real positive.

“Not only that, but it’s also close to major and neighbourhood shopping amenities, near hospitals and medical services and with its prominent location, is highly visible to around 23,000 vehicles on a daily basis.”

Anglican Church Lists in Brisbane Site

Burke said this was a terrific opportunity to partner with a committed land owner such as the Anglican Church.

“It’s not every day a chance like this comes along to deliver a commercially exciting project, around such an iconic building and on such a fantastic site,” he said.

“As the asset forms part of the St Andrew’s Church site and we are not seeking a straight sale outcome, future development will need to complement the ongoing use of the church and will ultimately provide beneficial commercial outcomes for both the developer and Anglican Church alike.

“The owner is seeking interest from proponents that ideally aligns with and complements the missional intent of the Anglican Church, and offers the chance for something to be created that benefits both the community, and the church.”

Expressions of interest close on Thursday, 11 April 2019 at 4pm.

 

Source: theurbandeveloper.com

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Boutique Apartment Developments Key in Brisbane Market

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Boutique Apartment Developments Key in Brisbane Market

Despite conservative developer activity in the apartment market, property research consultancy Urbis says many Brisbane developers are buoyed by levels of sales absorption, low vacancy rates and Brisbane’s solid growth drivers.

While Brisbane’s investor market is still subdued, in the latest update of the Apartment Essentials snapshot, owner-occupiers are the key target market with many projects now boutique in nature, catering to the needs of a longer-term resident.

The weighted average sale apartment price recorded in last year’s fourth quarter was $831,884, with 48 per cent of buyers owner-occupiers.

“Despite the drop in the volume of sales, the weighted average sale price was significantly higher than 2017’s quarterly reports, indicating that the style and quality of stock currently selling has changed,” the report said.

The snapshot shows 674 apartments were approved in the fourth quarter 2018.

Urbis director Paul Riga says approximately 2000 apartments are expected to launch amid three quarters of 2019.

“And with a replenishing pipeline, it’s likely we will register a pick up in sales,” he said.

“Ultimately it will be access to finance, for buyers and developers, that will temper the inner Brisbane market in the short-term.

“But the drivers of demand are there, and smart developers are already looking at opportunities for their next move.”

Boutique Apartment Developments Key Brisbane Market

Brisbane apartment launches slow as stock dries up

Inner Brisbane’s new apartment launches dropped off last year, down by around 35 per cent on 2017 launches.

While inner-Brisbane recorded 138 sales in the fourth quarter, Riga says this was a drop after “a stand-out quarter three result”.

“There were a total of 840 new apartment sales in 2018, almost 30 per cent lower than 2017.

Riga said sales as a percentage of available stock also dwindled to a record low of 9.4 per cent in the final quarter of 2018.

“The fourth quarter result was to be expected, with no new projects launching, buyers are essentially soaking up the current projects on the market,” he said.

 

Source: theurbandeveloper.com

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