Sydney-based developer Crown Group is moving ahead with plans for its controversial $460 million residential development in Brisbane’s West End.
Crown Group originally submitted its application for a FJMT-designed scheme in January 2018, soon after picking up the 1.25-hectare site—the former home of Computershare—at 117 Victoria Street for $35 million.
Crown Group placed the project on hold in mid-2019.
The application, comprising four 12-storey buildings, originally called for 463 dwellings, a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments, as well as terraces and four-bedroom penthouses, across a common podium adjacent to the Brisbane river.
It also planned for resort-style facilities include a 25-metre pool, cabana and poolside lounges, barbecue facilities, a gym and 4,200sq m of communal open space.
The project’s approval was granted by council in December 2018 after the developers modified initial plans for the design, subsequently reducing its scale to 455 dwellings.
The proposal was met with strong backlash from locals, who shut down West End’s Vulture Street and Montague Road intersection in March 2019, arguing the approved development didn’t have enough supporting infrastructure.
Adjustments made to the project resulted in an amended approval granted in March, however Crown Group said it is now considering a revised development application comprising 450 apartments, with the redesign phase in initial stages.
Crown Group, led by Iwan Sunito, told The Urban Developer it was now planning to provide for larger apartments with a greater project gross floor area in response to market conditions, and plans to take its amended application to council later this year.
Crown Group, which currently has projects on-the-go across Australia, Los Angeles and Jakarta, noted that the project would mark its foray into Brisbane, a residential market it has long been drawn to.
“Brisbane was set for a surge in property activity in early 2020 and since then housing data has shown the city is set to have the strongest recovery in Australia from Covid’s impact,” Crown Group development director Trent McLauchlan said.
“All the indicators show Brisbane is set to return to a state of housing undersupply and it will push apartment prices up.”
McLauchlan pointed to a potential strong rebound in 2021 and 2022, once state and international borders reopen.
“When conditions start to normalise, we will see demand as interstate buyers who have been waiting to visit start to reappear and act on the low interest rates and as foreign buyers take advantage of the strong exchange rate,” McLauchlan said.
The developer has opened a new office in West End with the project anticipated to be launched by September 2021 and completion slated for 2024.
Significant projects in the West End area include Japanese developer Sekisui House’s $800 million mixed-use precinct, West Village; the $51 million apartment development “Bohemia” by Turrisi Properties and Pradella’s Light+Co project as part of its broader $1 billion investment in West End.
Chinese developer R&F Property has plans for a seven-building development on an amalgamated 1.6-hectare site in West End, tipped to deliver 1,032 apartments staged over six years.
West End is also on track to see the addition of two new green bridges and a ferry terminal at Victoria Street.
West End State School is also currently undergoing a $25 million expansion to cater for population growth, and the headquarters of the Queensland Ballet, the Thomas Dixon Centre, is undergoing a $35 million transformation being delivered by Hutchinson Builders.
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