Melbourne developer Tim Gurner has increased his bets on the booming Brisbane property market, buying another two sites for the development of almost $300 million worth of new apartments.
“Brisbane is where I want to be,” Mr Gurner said, “Out of all the markets in Australia this is the one that will move the most over the next two years.”
He snapped up The Flying Cock Hotel at 388 Brunswick Street, and a Queensland government site at 156-162 Alfred Street, both in Fortitude Valley at prices of about $5000 a square metre, which is still considered good buying compared with other sales recently of development sites.
Together, the two new sites will provide 460 apartments and will bring Mr Gurner’s development portfolio in Fortitude Valley to more than $920 million with a combined total of 1370 apartments under development.
His initial project FV, has already seen the first two towers with 651 apartments worth $340 million sold in 12 weeks. Financiers for the project have included hedge fund giant Apollo Global Management and Thakral.
The two new site acquisitions are significant as they will now mean about half of Mr Gurner’s entire development business will be centred in Brisbane. Ray White Transact’s Rick Bird brokered the Brunswick Street deal while Savill’s Robert Dunne negotiated the Alfred Street deal.
Mr Gurner, whose wealth is estimated at $77 million by the BRW Young Rich List, expects to see net immigration to Queensland soon because of the huge differences in property value compared with other capital cities, especially Sydney.
“There is a very serious value gap between Brisbane and Sydney,” he said, “Brisbane has really had no price growth in the last five years and I think it has a long way to go.”
Architecture company Elenberg Fraser is designing two schemes for the new sites. The first at Alfred Street will include a 15-storey tower and will strategically prevent Gurner’s neighbouring FV development from being built out.
“We have now purchased both Alfred Street sites to ensure we can continue to invest in the ongoing enhancement of the area and protect the views and quality of the precinct for our buyers,” Mr Gurner said.
“We have been inspired by what Tim Forrester’s business, Aria Property Group, has done for South Brisbane and we are keen to replicate that type of transformation in Fortitude Valley.
The second site at Brunswick Street will see a 25-storey tower with 250 apartments. Mr Gurner said there would be a special retail offering including a concept bar and restaurant precinct at ground level and first floor which will rival the best in the world.