25/02/2014 - 15:09

$135m Swanbourne apartments to proceed

25/02/2014 - 15:09

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Blackburne Property Group has passed major development milestones on three of its projects, with the most significant being planning approval for what will be one of the largest apartment developments in Perth’s western suburbs.

$135m Swanbourne apartments to proceed
An artist's impression of the ARIA Swanbourne development.

Blackburne Property Group has passed major development milestones on three of its projects, with the most significant being planning approval for what will be one of the largest apartment developments in Perth’s western suburbs.

The ARIA Swanbourne project on Alfred Road, near Cottesloe Golf Club, comprises 156 apartments across five levels.

Blackburne originally proposed 204 apartments on the site but has reduced the number while increasing their size, maintaining the overall value of the development at $135 million.

The developer has also pressed the button on its $40 million Monarc apartment project in Highgate.

It signed an $18.3 million contract this week with Jaxon Construction, with work set to get under way next month.

In a third development, Blackburne has reached settlement on its $43 million Westgate office building in Subiaco.

Managing director Paul Blackburne said the four-level, 5,500 square metre building was almost 80 per cent sold or leased, and he was about to release the entire top floor to the market.

As well as ARIA, Monarc and Westgate, Blackburne has four other apartment projects under construction in Perth’s inner suburbs, with all of them 100 per cent pre-sold.

Collectively, the company’s seven developments are worth $385 million, making Blackburne the largest private developer in the Perth market.

With a value of $135 million, ARIA is one of the largest apartment projects in Perth’s western suburbs.

Other big projects include the $200 million Taskers development in North Fremantle, jointly developed by Gary Dempsey and AFG Property, Finbar’s $170 million Strand apartments in Subiaco and Otan’s $130 million China Green apartments in Subiaco.

The Metro West Joint Development Assessment Panel unanimously rejected the ARIA project when it was submitted for planning approval last October.

The JDAP cited the project’s height, which it said exceeded City of Nedlands restrictions, its “excessive” plot ratio and “the excessive density and the resultant large number of units”.

Blackburne subsequently appealed through the State Administrative Tribunal, resulting in a mediation process and a confidential JDAP hearing last week.

The agenda and minutes of the JDAP have not been published, but Mr Blackburne told Business News the project had been approved, with an expression of interest campaign starting this week and public marketing to commence in May.

Blackburne commissioned two traffic reports, which Mr Blackburne said had found no noticeable impact on the area, and he maintained the project was compliant with the design guidelines in Nedlands.

The redesign of the building has taken it from an enclosed four-sided structure to an open three-sided structure, resulting in larger apartments with more open views.

The project features 14 penthouses priced from $1.25 million to $2.5 million.

“For us as a company, it’s a step-up to enter this market,” Mr Blackburne said.

“Our development team have worked tirelessly over the past nine months to create a product that has never before been seen in WA.”

Aria includes two-bedroom apartments ranging from $650,000 to $990,000 and one-bedroom apartments from $495,000 to $650,000.

Features will include a third-level infinity pool with views to the city, along with yoga rooms, a private day spa, private dining rooms, sports lounge, wine cellars, sun decks and BBQ areas.

Blackburne sales director Daniel-Paul Filippi said buyers would be able to create their own bespoke design by selecting from a wide range of design options.

“This is the first time we have allowed buyers to be able to create their own personalised apartment design with this many options,” he said.

“Our target market will be mostly local residents wanting to move to a more secure, new luxury home with six-star resort style facilities and panoramic views from all rooms.”

Mr Blackburne said he would shortly be going to tender for the construction contract, likely to be worth about $60 million.

Construction is due to start in October and will take about two years.

Meanwhile, Blackburne development director Jarrad Sizer said the Monarc project was 80 per cent pre-sold, allowing the group to move to the construction phase.

Mr Sizer said the construction contract continued Blackburne’s strong working relationship with Jaxon, which is currently building the developer’s Encore apartment project in Subiaco.

Jaxon was selected after a competitive tender process with five builders.

The 67-apartment project includes six double-storey apartments with city views and a large central courtyard area with an innovative full-height greenwall.

The building, designed by architecture firm Design Management Group, was recognised by the City of Vincent’s Design Advisory Committee as demonstrating ‘design excellence’.

It includes extensive feature brickwork to mimic the neighbouring buildings.

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