20/09/2019 - 14:31

Cott, Sarich JV on Dempsey radar

20/09/2019 - 14:31

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Gary Dempsey has Cottesloe and Scarborough in his sights as he prepares to launch a development pipeline worth more than $200 million.

Cott, Sarich JV on Dempsey radar
Gary Dempsey says he will only consider developing sites on Perth’s waterfront. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira.

Gary Dempsey has Cottesloe and Scarborough in his sights as he prepares to launch  a development pipeline worth more than $200 million.

Having reached the final stage of his four-tower, $230 million Taskers apartments project in North Fremantle, builder-developer Gary Dempsey is busy finalising plans for his next wave of projects.

Construction recently began on the final building at Taskers – known as Siskas – a seven-level, 55-apartment tower Mr Dempsey considers to be the showpiece of the luxury precinct.

Mr Dempsey said Perth’s challenging residential market had resulted in a 12-month campaign to achieve the necessary pre-sales for building to start on Siskas, which is named after the yachts sailed by famed Western Australian yachtsman Rolly Tasker.

“It’s been a super tough market, but we’ve finally gotten there,” Mr Dempsey told Business News.

“It took around 12 months and it’s been the toughest time that I’ve seen for a long time.

“We’re finding that a lot of adverse talk from the eastern states spills over to here in terms of bad press about apartments.

“The national press doesn’t distinguish between Western Australia and what’s going on over there with the Opal and Mascot towers, etcetera.”

Mr Dempsey said Gary Dempsey Development’s status as a builder-developer was key to it achieving sales success with its target market, which consisted of downsizers from the western suburbs not willing to compromise on luxury finishings or the amenity that came from living in a house.

“We have 55 apartments, but there are 26 different floor plans,” he said.

“The big advantage that I offer, being the builder and the developer, is that buyers can customise on request.

“We don’t have investors, it’s 99 per cent owner-occupiers, and of that 99 per cent, you’d probably find that 85 per cent have never lived in an apartment before; they are coming from big houses.

“So we put a workshop in the basement for residents; it’s unique, and it’s not a real big deal when you think about it, but it strikes a chord with owners.”

Mr Dempsey said he expected his next project to also resonate with western suburbs buyers, with its location at 120 Marine Parade, near the corner of Napier Street in Cottesloe likely to be a major drawcard.

Gary Dempsey Developments appointed Klopper & Davis Architects to create a five-level, seven-apartment, $33 million luxury complex befitting its prime oceanfront location.

“This is pretty much the first apartment building on Marine Parade in 20 to 30 years,” Mr Dempsey said.

“I think there is a lot of pent-up demand just because there hasn’t been anything for so long.”

He said he had considered applying to build over Marine Parade’s 21-metre height limit, but instead had prepared a development application that conformed with Cottesloe’s planning guidelines.

“There are other developers around who try to push for higher and if you want to have a long fight, go for it,” Mr Dempsey said.

“But what we’ve proposed conforms and stacks up, so we’re going ahead with it; if you work within the regulations it is always smoother.”

However, Mr Dempsey said he may choose to push the envelope a little with his next major project, which was shaping up to be a $40 million development agreement with Ralph Sarich’s Cape Bouvard.

Earlier this year, Mr Dempsey acquired a plot of land on The Esplanade in Scarborough for $5 million, adjacent to another site owned by Cape Bouvard.

“The corner site allows for all apartments to have panoramic oceanfront views,” Mr Dempsey said.

“We’ll do them one at a time, it’s in a 12-storey zoning right now but you can push that, we’ll be looking at between 12 and 15 levels.

“If you push too far, and you could possibly get 20 storeys there, but I want to do quality.”

Mr Dempsey said it was his reputation for genuine luxury, honed over several decades of building high-end homes and luxury apartments, that had attracted Cape Bouvard’s interest in a joint venture.

“Cape Bouvard is a company that likes quality, they wanted to be associated with something that they’d be proud of as a legacy, and that’s how the conversation started,” he said.

“Nothing is easy, but I have a lot of people already waiting for me to give them some prices and confirm the project is going ahead.

“Our Bluewater project was finished around five years ago, and since then we’ve had a lot of inquiry about when we’re going to do our next project in Scarborough.

“So I think it will go well.”

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