Hands on at Pace's 181 Fitzroy Street display suite

Does the humble display suite still hold prime position in a development's given marketing and sales game plan compared to a few short years ago? In a time where international marketing campaigns and channel sales tend to sop up a fair portion of apartment sales prior to their local release, perhaps the worth of a display suite in on the wane.

While hard numbers sell apartments to those intent on investing, the same can't be said for owner-occupiers who are altogether more discerning when considering their next property purchase. With this in mind Urban Melbourne viewed the 181 Fitzroy Street display suite recently and spoke with Pace Development Group's Georgie Bott on why their display is at the forefront of the sales campaign.

Artist's impression of 181 Fitzroy's southern facade. Image courtesy Pace Development Group

And it's the display suite leading the way with Georgie Bott explaining that the majority of buyers passing through to date have been local; either from St Kilda or surrounding suburbs and with an eye toward returning to the bayside suburb or upscaling their current residence. The long, slender north-south positioned apartments within 181 Fitzroy Street have allowed for a relatively easy amalgamation of apartments where desired; as an example contracts have been signed for a single bedroom dwelling in excess of 100sqm - almost unheard of in Melbourne.

This willingness for prospective buyers to implement changes to the specified floor plans with the intent of tailoring internal spaces to their own wants and desires has been facilitated by the addition of multiple fully interactive touch screens within the display suite which essentially allows prospective buyers to design their apartment as they see fit.

Combining two apartments, removal of a wall, a reconfigured kitchen or applying upgraded fixtures and fittings; whatever the case the interactive screens allow prospective buyers a greater level of input in attaining what they want from an apartment, all with the swish of a finger.

Of all the display suites visited by Urban Melbourne we can't recall this level of empowerment given to the buyer previously. It certainly happens, just not in such an easy to use manner and this is in part why the project has sold strongly to date according to Pace.

A typical kitchen as per the display suite

BR Demolition in recent weeks has brought the existing structure down to ground level, with the car park sub levels to be retained. This in turn has allowed construction of 181 Fitzroy Street to begin immediately.

Slated to be removed later in the year and occupying a corner pocket onsite, 181 Fitzroy Street will be built around the sales suite. The onus on owner-occupier purchasers has prompted a decision to retain the sales suite onsite as long as possible, although this in turn has posed somewhat of an engineering challenge for the in-house build team.

Onsite demolition works during May

With 181 Fitzroy Street all but having commenced construction, it joins a more than healthy project book for Pace. Construction has commenced on George Windsor, with the adjoining Henry Windsor building nearing completion. Marquee project The Icon continues to lose its scaffolding, revealing a multi-coloured exterior while Ode is the developer's latest exploit in St Kilda featuring an exterior influenced by local artist Matthew Johnson, as per The Icon.

Archer has risen above ground level on its way to delivering 87 apartments in bayside Mentone while 73-77 Wellington Street has a date with VCAT for the sake of expediency rather than any great misgivings Yarra City Council may have about the project. The Collingwood project represents Pace Development Group's first foray into Melbourne's ever-popular inner north.

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