22/02/2012 - 10:46

Blackburne planning more developments

22/02/2012 - 10:46

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Blackburne planning more developments

BLACKBURNE Property Group is stepping up its development activities, with the launch this month of a $44 million apartment project in East Perth and a further two projects in the inner suburbs on the way.

The new developments follow the success of the 1178 Hay St apartment project in West Perth, which Blackburne developed in tandem with construction company Diploma Group.

Managing director Paul Blackburne said his goal was to complete two developments per year, with a focus on mid-sized projects in the inner suburbs.

The plan for more development projects is part of the growth of Mr Blackburne’s business, which he established 10 years ago, initially with a focus on real estate sales.

Mr Blackburne said the sales side of the business was performing very well because it focused on more affordable apartments in the city and inner suburbs.

“We’re seeing very strong demand for anything priced under $700,000,” Mr Blackburne told WA Business News.

An example of this was 1178 Hay St, he said, with Diploma achieving practical completion just before Christmas and Blackburne, which was development manager and project marketing agent, close to completing final sales of the 128 apartments.

Blackburne has three new projects on the drawing boards with the most advanced being Haven, a 76-apartment development in Wickham Street, in East Perth.

Wickham and its neighbouring streets have undergone little development, despite their proximity to the city and Claisebrook Cove, and to future projects such as the Riverside development near the causeway.

Mr Blackburne believes the location is filled with opportunity.

“It’s one of the last real pockets of undeveloped land in the inner part of Perth,” he said.

“We’ve got no doubt that whole area will be bought up and developed over the next two years.”

Mr Blackburne said 20 Haven apartments had sold after the opening weekend, helped by their pricing being well below most competing projects in the inner city. Haven lists two-bedroom two-bathroom apartments starting from $495,000.

Mr Blackburne said smart use of internal space combined with large balconies was one reason his group was able to deliver more affordable apartments.

The most immediate competition is from Pavilion Apartments, currently under construction on the opposite side of Wickham Street.

NW Construction, a relatively new player in the Perth market, is developing the 35-apartment Pavilion.

Another nearby development with very similar pricing to Haven is Ecco apartments, on Lord Street.

Jointly developed by Finbar and Swanline Group, the soft launch has just commenced.

Selling agent Robin Schneider of McGees said there had been very encouraging demand, especially from first homebuyers attracted by the pricing and investors returning to the market.

The Blackburne group’s other projects include a 92-apartment development in Cambridge St, West Leederville.

The $47 million project, currently awaiting development approval, will be developed in partnership with Australian Finance Group.

The third development on the drawing boards is a 6,000-square metre commercial building at the corner of Railway Road and Bagot Road, at the western end of Subiaco.

Last Friday, the State Administrative Tribunal ruled the proposal needed to be reassessed by Subiaco’s development assessment panel, which initially knocked it back.

Mr Blackburne said he was confident of obtaining approval after tackling what he called ‘technical issues’.

 

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