An early registration sales day for 122 Roseneath St. in Clifton Hill last month has been a resounding success, with 53 of the 65 available apartments and townhouses sold within 12 hours. The strong interest follows an extensive process of consultation that sought feedback from prospective purchasers at key stages of the design process, prior to construction.
Prospective purchasers were given the opportunity to express their views, creating a sense of ownership, whilst also giving the development partners – Wulff Projects, Icon Co. and Assemble – a chance to communicate the social and environmental values that underpin the project.
With a commitment to design, the development team believes a vertical life can be enjoyed by families, friends, pets, bike-lovers and green-thumbs alike.
So much so of the apartments on offer, seven have purchased by members of the development team. For some of them it's their first home, which reflects the development’s aspirations to create an affordable, diverse and engaged community in the inner-city suburb of Clifton Hill, where the median house price is now $1.161 million.
Urban Melbourne caught up with Rachel Elliot Jones from Assemble and Edward Cramer from Wulff Projects to discuss the engagement process and the project's sales success.
According to Elliot Jones and Cramer, the team were bullish about the project's prospects once it hit the market. An unusually high proportion, 96%, of purchasers at Roseneath St. are owner-occupiers and domestic buyers, reflecting both the quality and affordability of the project. The developers estimate that 40% of all purchasers were first-home buyers, and that 38% came from Clifton Hill or surrounding suburbs.
85% of purchasers were able to buy one of their top 4 preferences.
As part of the exhaustive process - which lasted 8 months and was largely considered an untried process - a further design presentation where the latest iteration of renders, material boards were presented to prospective purchasers to gauge interest and collect feedback. Based on the feedback received and purchaser preferences, 4 of the studio apartments were consolidated into 2 x 2 bedroom apartments.
The display suite was opened to those who had registered their interest and filled in their preference statements where they had to list 5-10 preferences. Elliot Jones says the biggest task the team faced was managing expectations, and it was critical that interested purchasers were greeted with a smile and a relaxed atmosphere ensuring purchasers were 'calm.' Additionally Fresh Fork and Everyday Coffee were on hand supplying food and coffees respectively.
All three directors of Assemble – Quino Holland, Ben Keck and Pino Demaio – purchased a home in the development. This sent a strong message to prospective buyers and gave them confidence in the project.
The existing buildings onsite will be cleared over the course of the next 6-8 weeks with construction beginning in earnest by the end of the year. The development team are targeting a one year construction program with a completion date either side of Christmas 2017.
It was fantastic to see that more than 85 per cent of new residents were able to secure one of their top four preferences. The consultation process, which involved two stages of design presentations and several feedback surveys, directly informed aspects of the design, including the communal room, the inclusion of a communal laundry and the provision of an embedded energy network.
The participation and feedback throughout the design presentations allowed us to tailor the design and give buyers the confidence to commit to the project.
Ben Keck, Assemble Director
Having spent the first years of my life in regional Malaysia, I suppose ‘village living’ is in my roots… Returning to Melbourne in 2013, I’ve been really interested in what the future of housing and particularly medium-density living will evolve into, with changing demographics and populations. I’ve been investigating cooperative housing, tiny home living, and even looking into forming my own cooperative to form an intentional residential community, and I fell in love with 122 Roseneath’s vision, design and practice of engaging its stakeholders.
I’ve been involved in building all sorts of communities and networks over the past ten years of my professional life and I’ve always longed to be able to bring this into my home life as well.What was most important to me was the thoughtful sustainable design and that I would be joining a community, not just an apartment building.
Melina Chan, purchaser at 122 Roseneath Street
The people I have met who will be future residents of 122 Roseneath are all lovely – my next door neighbour seems fabulous – and there is a real sense that the buyers want to live in an environment where we all look out for each other.
Marion Arnott, purchaser at 122 Roseneath Street
As for what's next, Wulff Projects have collaborated with Assemble's design arm, Fieldwork for Newry Street townhouses in Richmond.