Interesting times abound for one of Melbourne's more flamboyant development firms, with BPM in the midst of a development push that sees no less than six apartment projects currently active on Urban Melbourne's Project Database. With a penchant for all things beautiful and exotic the firm which was founded by Jonathan Hallinan in 1995, has gone about creating a unique niche for itself in an industry where the majority of developers are trying to set themselves apart.
Underpinning the flair however is the aim of delivering quality living spaces, with Shadow Play on Southbank acting as the firm's 'flagship' project and first Melbourne high-rise. Urban Melbourne recently spoke with BPM founder and Director Jonathan Hallinan in order to better understand the company's current anf future intentions.
Beginning with Shadow Play, the question was posed as to why BPM chose to move into the high-rise sphere and how was the prized Southbak site secured?
Moving into the tower market was a courageous move for BPM, which had cemented itself as the premier developer of boutique, medium density developments in Melbourne. Fundamentally I always knew that BPM had further potential beyond just the medium density market, and that’s why I decided to move the business forward into developing residential towers.
Shadow Play is positioned in a sought after location that aligns with BPM’s strategy to develop in areas that appeal to successful, passionate people, with a strong coffee and food culture. When the opportunity presented to secure the Shadow Play site, we moved quickly to negotiate with the vendor.
On the day of the negotiations, I was scheduled to board a flight to the US late that evening. I spent the day at the solicitor’s office of the vendor, negotiating into the night before finalising the deal minutes before I was due to be at the airport. It would prove to be one of the most significant days in the history of BPM, marking our first endeavour into the high rise market and signifying a new era for the business.Jonathan Hallinan
Shadow Play to date has seen 70% of the apartments on offer sold, with 30% of those sales accounted for by overseas buyers. The success of Shadow Play has seen BPM take steps to initiate further high-rise projects, while also maintaining their willingness to tackle smaller, high-end projects.
The move into large scale projects does not represent an abandoning of smaller boutique developments for BPM. Rather, as a business we see a great opportunity to apply the same luxury approach and design aesthetic typically associated with our boutique properties to our larger scale projects.
Therefore we aim to be across every market from boutique projects, medium density and high rise developments, taking what we do so well at the boutique level and applying that approach to the tower market, in order to make luxury apartment living more accessible and achievable for people on any income, without compromising on design or quality.
We are currently finalising negotiations on a further four high rise development sites, where we will continue to adopt our retention strategy of keeping 10-15% of the project.Jonathan Hallinan
The commitment to smaller boutique developments is underlined by BPM creating an internal construction arm specialising in luxury, medium density apartments developed by its parent. Walter Carnegie which is well advanced and The Standard located on Bay Street, Brighton are under the guidance of BPM Built.
Looking ahead BPM are set to release their first project within Fishermans Bend, with Night Fall the moniker assigned to 165 Gladstone Street, South Melbourne. Registrations of interest for the project are open with late July expected to see its public sales campaign launch.
Described as a cultural barometer and beacon by the development firm, Night Fall will see approximately 45 apartments delivered with large balconies a feature, allowing for flow between interior and exterior spaces.
Elsewhere and BPM are in the process of creating two additional Melbourne projects. Richmond will be home to a new apartment development at 34-40 Elizabeth Street, with the project at the final stages of planning and slated for a late 2015 release to market while Collingwood will see the developer diversify by fostering creative designer office spaces within a project that will be launched during 2016.