Urban Industry

308 Carlisle Street. Image courtesy Marshall White

Discussing the future of the apartment market with Leonard Teplin

Sales and marketing agents Marshall White have shifted their focus to virtual reality as a selling tool due to shifting preferences and expectations from prospective buyers. Based upon recent project marketing experiences, younger generations heavy reliance upon the digital sphere has allowed Marshall White to sell out projects without a physical display suite. As sales agent for 308 Carlisle Street, Marshall White managed to sell all apartments...

ClarkeHopkinsClarke looks to the future

Les Clarke, the last of ClarkeHopkinsClarke’s three founding partners recently retired in his 56th year with the practice. Alongside David Hopkins and Jack Clarke, the trio founded Melbourne-based architecture practice ClarkeHopkinsClarke. With an early focus on residential and education projects, Les also designed several acclaimed homes, including the Housing Institute of Australia’s House of the Year in 1978. Today the practice’s work spans...

Melburnians flock to virtual reality and property marketers are taking notice

There is rising consumer appetite for virtual reality in Australia and property marketers are starting to pay attention. As of this writing, Google Trends has given Melbourne a score of 100 for ‘Regional Interest’ for the search-term “Virtual Reality”. What exactly does a score of 100 mean? Well, explaining Google Trends data can be a little tricky but a rank of 100 effectively means that proportionately, people in Melbourne are searching for “...
The Phoenix Project - 2015 People's Choice Winner

Vote for Victoria's best in building design

The Building Designers Association of Victoria (BDAV) is inviting readers to vote for their favourite design project in its 21st BDAV Building Design Awards. The BDAV is an industry body which acts for building design professionals. It is a not-for-profit organisation, registered under the Victorian Associations Incorporation Act. It is managed by a committee of volunteers from amongst the membership, whose objective is to advance the profession...

A sensitive topic: development site flipping

With Melbourne driving 46 per cent of Australia’s apartment development, it’s a good time to be a developer in the world’s most liveable city. And in theory, it’s also a good time to be a purchaser as apartments flood the market, increasing stock and therefore theoretically driving down pricing. It’s the age-old story of supply versus demand. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, by 2020 Melbourne’s population will rise to five...

The prestige property tax: what it means and who it affects

Specialising in the very top end of luxury off-the-plan sales, Marshall White Projects experiences firsthand, the widespread and often unintended consequences that state and federal legislative and tax changes can have on Melbourne’s property market. Since the start of this financial year alone, we have witnessed an 80 percent rise in the popularity of prestige apartments in the $2m+ price bracket, with families and professional couples becoming...

Campus style developments: a new model for apartment living

The high land value and small footprint of development sites in inner-urban areas generally present an economic case for single, high-rise, multi-residential buildings with various amenities stacked on each floor. However, a number of major brownfield urban renewal areas have recently claimed much larger sites, ones that require an entirely different approach to the design and development of new communities. When presented with a large site that...

Profiling a success story: Talking BrandWorks with Eleena and Michael Tan

At Urban Melbourne we're often provided with opportunities to meet and speak with designers and creatives from various streams of the urban industry. One such chat occurred recently when I sat down with BrandWorks founders Eleena and Michael Tan. BrandWorks exists for the purpose of curating great ideas and people that will realise the vision of their clients, offering expertise in interior design, branding and retail strategy. MilkCow. Image...

C270: How will it affect development in Melbourne’s central city?

C270 is the amendment to the interim planning controls (C262) that landed like a bomb last year . For the most part, this amendment is a step in the right direction. However, there is one change that will have a profound impact on development viability: the Plot Ratio is now 18:1. If you own a site and were planning on lodging for a permit based on 24:1 plot ratio, you will be hit hard. Your yield will now be based on an 18:1 plot ratio unless...
Monochrome portrait of Cam McLellan

Why every millennial should be a ‘rentvestor’

When it comes to buying your first property, Australians have two main options. Purchase as an owner-occupier. In this instance, first homebuyers save up to purchase the perfect home they will live in, usually with the assistance of a home loan and 25-year mortgage. Purchase as a ‘rentvestor’. In this instance, first homebuyers purchase an investment property in a more affordable area while continuing to rent in their preferred suburb. For young...


Development & Planning

Friday, March 16, 2018 - 00:00
As reported in The Age late last month speculation is growing that developer Cbus Property is leading the charge to acquire a combined development site at 140-150 Queen Street and 27 McKillop Street. This would follow what would appear to be a pre-emptive purchase of a neighbouring site at 423 Bourke Street, which an 11-storey office block currently occupies.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Sunday, March 11, 2018 - 13:00
The Victorian Government has announced it will ban the use of aluminium cladding panels that have a polyethylene core of more than 30% and expanded polystyrene will also be banned on buildings with 3 or more levels. The changes were announced by the Planning Minister, Richard Wynne, on Saturday morning along with new guidelines for building surveyors.

Visual Melbourne

Monday, February 5, 2018 - 12:00
The various spaces and elements which combine to form RMIT's New Academic Street (NAS) have progressively begun to open to students and visitors alike. I was recently fortunate enough to be part of an informal group tour through the completed spaces within NAS, led by Harrison and White which had a hand in the project.

Transport & Design

Friday, March 16, 2018 - 17:00
Comment There's much to admire about Rodney Maddock's advocacy piece in The Conversation - ' Our growing big cities need new centres of employment - here's Melbourne's chance ' - the three projects he advocates for have been in the public domain for quite a while now.

Sustainability & Environment