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Urban Industry

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...

Value capture: how do we stop Value Escape?

There seems to be almost unanimous and vigorous agreement that the pursuit of value capture is a worthwhile initiative in helping us to augment scarce infrastructure funding. However, we seem to be engrossed in writing thought leadership, debating policy and gathering evidence rather than getting on with implementation. At a time when we are moving forward with massive city building infrastructure projects procrastination is an exercise in value...

Better Apartments at the Australian Smart Skyscraper Summit 2017

In light of the recent release of the Victorian State Government’s Better Apartments Design Standards, architects, designers, builders and the industry as a whole will look to reconfigure apartment design, in order to conform to new government regulations. Among changes to standards, the guidelines dictate that apartments will have to provide for daylight access, outlook and privacy through building setbacks. A functional layout will see the...

Lachlan Thompson discusses 525 High Street's success

Developer Goldfields, is celebrating the sell-out success of its Prahran East project, 525 High Street which has exceeded a residential value of $45 million in just a matter of weeks, after initially achieving 50% sales in just over a week. Covered on Urban Melbourne last year , the 7-storey building designed by JCB Architects and featuring 46 boutique residences has proven particularly popular with a mix of downsizers, empty-nesters, and...

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Development & Planning

Friday, September 22, 2017 - 07:00
The development of a 13-storey apartment building as part of a larger site development at Ormond Station to be called Ormond Place can proceed following approval from Planning Minister Richard Wynne.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 00:00
Toorak Park is the outcome of a decade of development overtones for an expansive and formerly underutilised site abutting Toorak Station. Few projects across Melbourne are larger in terms of site size, with developer Lendlease over recent months applying the finishing touches to 446 apartments and 18 townhouses across a host of buildings.

Visual Melbourne

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 07:00
The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment. Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.

Transport & Design

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 12:00
First mooted early last year, the long awaited facelift to Rebecca Walk looks set to proceed following a call out for "40 energetic street food traders" back in January of this year and planning approvals. New plans were conceived for the largely empty row of pods which occupy the under croft of the Flinders St Viaduct adjacent to Batman Park on the CBD's Northbank.

Sustainability & Environment

Monday, September 4, 2017 - 12:00
The recent BDAV Building Design Awards once more showcased the talents and expertise of Victoria's building designers. 2017 was the 22nd year of the BDAV Design Awards, which aims to "profile excellence in building design, as well as profiling the importance of the building design profession to both the building industry and to the broader community." One project that ticked the boxes was Green Edge.