11/03/2010 - 00:00

Development wave at Leighton

11/03/2010 - 00:00

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Multiplex Living and Mirvac are pursuing apartment developments at Leighton Beach.

Development wave at Leighton

NATIONAL developer Multiplex Living is on track to begin construction of its flagship beachside residential development at Leighton Beach, adding to a growing list of public and private sector projects under way or planned.

Preliminary works have commenced on site for Multiplex’s The Leighton project, which was released to market in April 2008 and had been placed on hold during the global financial crisis.

The development adjoins Mirvac’s $500 million, 67-dwelling Beachside Leighton development, stage one of which is scheduled for completion in October this year.

Rounding out construction activity at the beach, the Department of Planning has also commenced works on stage one of its Leighton Beach foreshore rejuvenation plan, providing community amenities such as a picnic area, cycling path, barbeque facilities and landscaping.

The Department of Planning’s initial construction program will take about six months to complete.

Multiplex Living director of sales and marketing, Tim Willing, told WA Business News The Leighton was the company’s flagship residential project, following a proposal to build a similar apartment complex at the Cottesloe Beach Hotel.

In January, Brookfield Multiplex confirmed to WA Business News the popular beachside hotel remained on the market, after several attempts to redevelop the site were blocked by the Town of Cottesloe.

“Nothing ever progresses as quickly as we’d hope, however the Cottesloe Beach Hotel is still something that we own and are pursuing options for,” Mr Willing said.

“(The Leighton) is a site we had acquired when we knew we had the Cottesloe Hotel, so I would say that whilst they’re not too far apart, we’d certainly be pursuing this one in the same way as we are now.

“We would have liked to have been here more quickly; it’s just world events over the last 18 months have precluded that.”

The Leighton features 45 executive beachfront residences in two buildings, starting at $1.35 million.

Mr Willing said demand for the apartments outweighed supply in its preliminary release in 2008, and the company was able to sell its first 20 apartments in a short time.

“Some months after that, things changed significantly and it became very obvious that we weren’t going to be able to start the building due to different bank lending criteria,” Mr Willing said.

He said renewed confidence in the market had resulted in another five sales, to take the total to 25, at an average of $4 million per sale, and had prompted Multiplex Living to relaunch the project.

“Being from WA originally, Multiplex as a group, this site is potentially iconic, its something that we’re all very passionate about in making sure we create something special here,” Mr Willing said.

“Rather than trying to put as many apartments as possible on the site, we’ve tried to minimise the numbers so we can maximise people’s lifestyle here.

“By maximising the amenity and the size of the apartments, we give them that exclusivity and privacy that people are looking for when they are going to be moving out of very large homes into an apartment space.”

Mirvac WA chief executive Evan Campbell said the rejuvenation of the Leighton Beach precinct would help the area emerge from the shadows of better-known suburbs such as North Fremantle and Cottesloe.

“Leighton Beach has long been overlooked for its neighbouring suburbs, but with all the activity now under way that perception has changed,” he said.

“The superior new development, combined with the government’s foreshore rejuvenation, will really see the area live up to its potential.”

Once completed, Mirvac’s development will feature 60 apartments, seven terrace homes, a boutique hotel and commercial space, including cafes, restaurants and small bars.

Mr Campbell said 48 apartments and 12 penthouses sold at Beachside Leighton within 48 hours of their release in December 2007 for a combined total of $190 million.

“We had a phenomenal response to stage one and with construction now edging closer to completion, with up to 180 workers a day on site, the project is well and truly taking shape,” he said.

“The majority of buyers were baby boomers and retirees attracted by the beachfront location and access to amenities, and the fact these apartments allow them to downsize without compromising on quality and spaciousness.

“We expect stage two, which will comprise apartments and terrace homes, will attract a similar buyer market.”

In addition to Beachside Leighton, Mirvac is developing the $1 billion master planned community, The Peninsula, near Burswood.

Mirvac also has numerous projects under way in the Mandurah region, including beachside project Seascapes, waterfront residential and hotel development The Point, and golf course community Meadow Springs.

 

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