GURNER's 1 Warde Street adds to Joseph Road Precinct's momentum

White-hot developer GURNER has continued Footscray's apartment march by gaining approval for a twin tower development capable of accommodating between 350-380 apartments. Estimated at over $200 million in value, 1 Warde Street is another joint effort between GURNER and the irrepressible Elenberg Fraser.

Submitted for assessment during July 2012, the project which sits within Footscray's Joseph Road Precinct has been subject to a very lengthy approvals process which has seen the initial design consisting of 19 and 26 level buildings adjusted to carry dual 25 level towers. Consequently the apartment yield has increased from an initial 311 to as many as 380 within the approved version, with 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments expected.

With such a long lead in time prior to approval GURNER has stated they expect to reflect the low cost of site purchase (relative to today's robust market) via highly competitive apartment pricing at the time of the project's release.

Initial and approved 1 Warde Street designs. Images courtesy Elenberg Fraser & GURNER

Dubbed Romeo and Juliet on GURNER's website, 1 Warde Street will hold 4,000sqm's of retail space at ground level, in part servicing the wider Joseph Road Precinct precinct which is expected to see thousands of apartments constructed.

Tim Gurner's take

The site was purchased over four years ago when prices were siting below long-term averages so we are now able to pass this on to purchasers by delivering a project that will rival our crowning ‘FV’ project in Brisbane at prices that sit under market rates, ensuring our clients enjoy long term capital gains.

This regeneration precinct in Footscray is the perfect opportunity to breathe new life into a former industrial precinct and create a thriving residential, retail and cultural hub within five kilometres of the CBD. People who buy into the early stages of new precincts such as this one, tend to do incredibly well as they buy against the market trends and then see a large upswing when the precinct really starts to take shape.

We saw it with Port Melbourne and Richmond’s former industrial precincts which have now been transformed into luxury apartment pockets so I believe Joseph Road will be another example where people will kick themselves down the track if they don’t get in early.

Having just received planning approval from the State Government we will now move into the early design stages and we hope to bring this project to market in early 2016. We are excited to bring this project to the market as soon as possible; I’m happy to see there are other developers already in the market there as the activity will help put this precinct on the map.

There has been talk that this precinct may become over populated with new developments however we see it no differently to opening an Italian restaurant or cafe on Lygon Street - as long as you ensure you are delivering the best possible coffee or product in the market at a competitive price, it is sure to be a success.

Tim Gurner

On a wider note

1 Warde Street is the latest development to enter the GURNER stable, which includes 107 Cambridge Street and 28 Stanley Street (both of which have sold out prior to construction) and the recently announced apartment conversion of 57 Johnston Street, Fitzroy. In addition 74 Eastern Road and 278-282 Kings Way shape as forthcoming projects.

With sales of 1 Warde Street expected to hit sales at the beginning of 2016, the interceding period will see GURNER and Elenberg Fraser embark upon an expanded design process prior to the project's launch. Incidentally Warde Street also caps off a successful fortnight for Elenberg Fraser, with planning approval also secured for two additional projects. 85-93 Lorimer Street and Avant within Melbourne's CBD are also the handy work of the Queen Street-based architecture practice.

Joseph Road Precinct set to rise

The approval of 1 Warde Street is also another shot of momentum for Joseph Road Precinct, with 2015 a year of excel for the designated urban renewal area. In addition to GURNER's Warde Street approval, AZX Group's Riverina has sold strongly, with a construction tender now open on the first phase of the 968-apartment project.

Joining the above two developments is The Tannery which is slated for a construction start as of late 2015 while directly opposite Joseph street Precinct another large project is on the verge of commencing sales. The Riverside located at 1 Moreland Street is set to carry in excess of 200 apartments, with an onsite display suite nearing completion.​


Bilby's picture

"... I believe Joseph Road will be another example where people will kick themselves down the track if they don’t get in early".

Do you believe it enough to provide a capital gains guarantee of 20% over 5 years, Tim?

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Mark Baljak's picture

At a guess I think GURNER would rather concern themselves with taking on the considerable risk of delivering a $200 million + development...

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Bilby's picture

A considerable risk, indeed. It's yet to be seen whether investors who "get in early" in this part of Footscray, in a potentially oversupplied market, will benefit over and above what would be expected in a more established area. However, if the apartment market falters, it's hard to see how these partially developed areas will outperform established inner city areas in the short to medium term - particularly if developments like this one are completed, but not immediately followed by the predicted amenity and further development envisaged by the developer in the article above. What happens in that case is anyone's guess.

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Nicholas Harrison's picture

It is lucky we have people willing to invest in an area like this or it would remain a wasteland.

The beauty of this precinct is that it is within walking distance of Footscray station and all of the existing amenities in the Footscray activity centre including community services, a community arts centre, Victoria university, high schools and a primary School.

Not only that but the additional population will lead to further development of the Footscray activity centre, much of which is tired and underutilised.

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