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Urban Industry

Seconds to Midnight or Happy Days at 9pm? Where we are on the development market clock

Property clocks have been in existence for some time, explaining when a market is going up, in decline, or about to turn the corner. I think the idea started with the Doomsday clock which predicted when the world would end due to nuclear war. It worked like this: Leading up to 6.00pm – Happy days, pool parties, lots of comments like “I love what you have done with your hair” At 6.00pm – deciding you really don’t like the other country, see...

Icon Developments' Ashley Murdoch discusses Otter Street

Developed through a partnership with Icon Developments and Cranecorp Otter St will - upon completion - deliver a boutique residential development of 19 luxury residences in the heart of Collingwood’s eclectic and progressive Smith Street precinct at 1-3 Otter Street Collingwood. Every apartment benefits from dual aspect, access to significant natural light and cross ventilation all within walking distance of public transport, open space, cafes,...

FlipMatrix online tool seeks beta testers

FlipMatrix is an innovative data-driven architectural software start-up which focuses on streamlining building design via an online tool that will be available in Victoria on mobile and desktop platforms. FlipMatrix was initially conceived as a tool for architects as a viable alternative to inaccurate and unpaid feasibility studies which architects endlessly undertake in a bid to win work. It has since evolved into an automated tool which can be...

Off-the-Plan Properties are now Open for Inspection

In the past couple of years, we have seen virtual reality go from an intriguing concept to a full-fledged strategy for off-the-plan property sales. This is due to VR’s unprecedented ability to bring projects to life by recreating environments to scale and placing a potential buyer inside a building that has yet to be built. There are many challenges to selling off-the-plan properties compared to established properties. One of the most...

Closing the gap on suburban commercial property

As the world’s most liveable city, Melbourne has so much to offer. Opportunities await on every corner. In commercial property investment, this has seen the spotlight planted firmly on the CBD. But the tide is steadily shifting. CBD office space in Melbourne is being squeezed by a growing preference for residential development, prompting tenants and investors to look further afield and pushing cap rate compression well beyond expert predictions...

Adapt or Die: Government’s imposed changes will further redefine Melbourne's apartment market

There’s been comprehensive media coverage and informed comment regarding the Government’s imposed changes to the off the plan market, looming as of July 1st this year, but what does this really mean for the industry? From this date and beyond there will be a significant impost on investors no longer being able to claim the off the plan stamp duty benefits, as well as first home buyers receiving a substantial stamp duty benefit for off the plan...

What can the urban development industry do about the challenges facing growth area communities?

We have a challenge ahead of us. How, as our population continues to grow, can the urban development industry ensure that we are creating healthy, sustainable and liveable communities in which people can enjoy socially connected and fulfilling lifestyles? Much of the urban development discourse (as well as a variety of tools and guidelines) typically articulates a range of positive outcomes we should be aiming for through the urban development...

Now is the time of the Landlord Generation

Gen X? Gen Y? Millennials? Well in the property market we’ve hit the ‘Landlord Generation’. This Landlord generation are investors expanding their property and in turn rental portfolios. Despite media reports of an oversupply, the Melbourne residential market continues to grow and given population forecasts there is no slow down. The end of the financial year will herald the end of major stamp duty benefits to local hardworking investors as the...

How can we better utilise government owned land?

Last Wednesday a Victorian Planning and Environment Law Association (VPELA) seminar on Government land, had presenters from both State (Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and VicTrack) and Local (City of Banyule) Government departments. Part of the evening focused on the introduction in 2016 of the Fast Track Government Land Service, which is an initiative that charges DELWP with the responsibility of rezoning disused...

How will the 50% foreign ownership limit affect developers?

As well as restricting supply to an already full rental market, the 50% foreign ownership restriction removes some of the competitive advantages overseas developers had over local developers. Prior to this change coming into effect, overseas developers had a competitive advantage as they had no overseas sales limits whatsoever. Overseas developers using overseas banks could, if they so desired, have 100 per cent foreign sales, with 100 per cent...

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Development & Planning

Friday, July 21, 2017 - 00:00
Last week's joint announcement by Planning Minister Richard Wynne, Premier Daniel Andrews and Lord Mayor Robert Doyle that the Amendment C245 planning controls have been adopted, paves the way for work to commence on the $250 million dollar redevelopment of the Queen Victoria Market. Concept for Munro site (subject to change).

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Friday, July 14, 2017 - 00:00
It is so much easier to knock a building down than it is to build one. Building is a long and involved process of dreaming, planning, scheming, and the wonderfully gritty bit that is actually constructing a physical manifestation of these things, while getting rid of a building sometimes takes no more than a bit of paperwork, some heavy machinery, and the stroke of a pen.

Visual Melbourne

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 07:00
Once again Melbourne has turned it on for the spectacular cultural juggernaut that is White Night. A crowd of around 600,000 took part in the all night festival of projections, performances, artworks and installations. Stealing the show again this year was the extraordinary projections upon the Royal Exhibition Building.

Transport & Design

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 13:00
Little by little we're getting closer to the money and shovels-in-the-ground end of the Melbourne Metro Tunnel project with the announcement that the Cross Yarra Partnership is the successful bidder for the Tunnel & Stations availability-based private-public partnership (PPP) contract.

Sustainability & Environment

Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 12:00
The greening of Southbank is a step closer to reality following the endorsement of the draft concept plan for Southbank Boulevard and Dodds Street by the Future Melbourne Committee on Tuesday, 18 July, 2017.