19/02/2020 - 10:56

Iluka Beach: upscale for downsizers

19/02/2020 - 10:56

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A focus on the emerging downsizers market and collaboration with some established firms has proved a successful strategy for one of Perth’s newest developers.

Dale Alcock (left), Brad Kelly, Jarrad Sizer and DMG Architects’ Lindsay Allen are excited for a construction start at One Iluka Beach. Photo: Bode Property

A focus on the emerging downsizers market and collaboration with some established firms has proved a successful strategy for one of Perth’s newest developers.

Launching a new development company in one of the most challenging residential property markets in recent memory should have been a daunting prospect.

Brad Kelly and his business partner, Jarrad Sizer, have taken that market challenge in their stride, however, with the launch of Bode Property, a boutique apartment developer set to start building its first project, west of Joondalup, next month.

Both Mr Kelly and Mr Sizer were previously employees of leading apartments development firm Blackburne, but decided to establish their own firm early last year.

Mr Kelly told Business News the pair had adopted a service-first strategy to achieve sales, with the project aimed firmly at the growing downsizer market.

Recent research by Knight Frank Australia identified growing demand from downsizers as a global trend, with buyers seeking house-like proportions, low-maintenance living, walkability to local amenity, and high security.

A separate research project by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute showed downsizers valued dwellings with three or more bedrooms, with a desire for storage space and room for guests as key priorities.

Those trends are key factors that contributed to the sales success of Bode Property’s $19 million One Iluka Beach, Mr Kelly said.

“The last year has been pretty tough going market-wise, but we are really happy with the way sales have gone and the quality of the product that we are putting on the ground up there,” he said.

“Because we are a small developer and we are both hands on, we were able to take on individual buyer requests to customise apartments more than what most developers would be willing to take on. That certainly aided us.

“Secondly, I think that we went for a higher-spec product, and given that the buyers are all owner-occupiers and are all downsizers stepping out of high-quality homes, they had an expectation for a certain level of finishes. We were able to meet that expectation.”

Mr Kelly said Bode had identified the opportunity to create a project for the downsizer market in the coastal northern suburbs through a relative lack of apartment supply, and a desire for those buyers to remain in their current locations.

“Being able to remain in their local catchment area is an important part of a downsizer’s consideration, and we thought that was an area that, while there was some choice up there, it wasn’t overly crowded in that sense,” he said.

“But at the same time it’s not a market where we would want to go in and do a 50-plus apartment complex.”

Bode Property has appointed ABN Group division Dale Alcock Projects to undertake construction work on One Iluka Beach, a move Mr Kelly said was key to establishing the developer’s credibility.

“Even though Jarrad and I have got a lot of experience in delivering projects we are still a startup property development business, so getting a builder like that involved was really important,” he said.

“The quality piece was important to us, especially up in the northern coastal corridor where the various ABN brands are quite well known to the market.”

Designed by DMG Architecture + Construction, One Iluka Beach will be located on the corner of Burns Beach Road and Mykonos View, with all 23 apartments featuring a coastal aspect.

“We’d worked with DMG at Blackburne previously so we were really confident in their architectural skills and also their understanding of what type of floorplans are going to work for downsizers moving out of larger homes into a smaller apartment,” Mr Kelly said.

“Light, ventilation and aspect are all key considerations, and DMG are good at what they do and have been a good partner in the project for us.

“[A]ll of these north-facing apartments are facing out to the coastal dunes.”

Mr Kelly said Bode would now turn its attention to site acquisition opportunities, with a view to launching two additional projects before the end of 2020.

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