Gurner To Make Appearance In Fitzroy North

Market Insights
8 years ago
5 minutes

In what represents the developer’s largest and most significant single acquisition to-date, luxury property developer Gurner has acquired a landmark 8,500sqm site in Fitzroy North, in a deal that will add another $300m - $350million to its already $2billion-plus portfolio.  

Located at 26-56 Queens Parade, the site was acquired off-market in January for around $40m -$45million from a private family who has owned the site for over 15 years.

Subject to planning, Gurner’s vision for the site will see the delivery of a precinct of multiple residential buildings yielding a combined 550 – 650 apartments along with a dedication to luxury resident amenity that is synonymous with Gurner’s luxury developments, including a unique public realm and retail offering on the ground floor.

The site is positioned within the City of Yarra’s Gasworks precinct which is bound by Queens Parade, Alexandra Parade and Smith Street, and represents one of the largest remaining developable residential in-fill sites in Melbourne. 

Due to the site’s significant 120m frontage along Queens Parade and its potential to deliver an exceptional architectural outcome in what is one of Melbourne’s most tightly-held suburbs, GURNER™ has approached one international and three of Australia’s most prolific architecture firms in a competitive design pitch to deliver a new luxury landmark for Fitzroy North. 

Gurner's founder and director, Tim Gurner said the acquisition was the “site of a lifetime that cannot be repeated in Melbourne again” which was the result of over 18 months of negotiations with the vendor, who he now counts as a close friend. 

“ Over the past 24 months we have been incredibly lucky to have acquired and developed some incredible and important projects for Victoria and Queensland and we are now in a really great position to be able to focus our attention on large-scale, iconic projects that will truly shape Australian major cities skyline and create amazing precincts for the community. 

“ This site fits perfectly within our development philosophy of only acquiring sites within 1-3 kilometres of the CBD with an active buyer demographic of 25 – 40 year olds, offering immediate access to established amenity and a thriving culture and nightlife. 

“ Our vision for this site is to create something truly iconic while being very respectful of its history and importance in the area, and creating a precinct that the people of Fitzroy North will be proud of - a new architectural anchor for the area.  

“ The winning design will not only need to be iconic, it must fit within the urban fabric of Fitzroy North and reflect the grain and materiality of the area. 

“ The location is overwhelmingly populated with ‘black collar workers’; artists and professionals concentrated in The Arts, fashion and design, so naturally they have an incredible eye for detail and authenticity.  With this in mind there will be no shiny modern boxes within our final design, the precinct will be carefully tailored to ensure it resonates with the target market. 

“ Over the past few years we have been able to really push the boundaries of what apartment living means in Australia, taking design, quality and luxury amenity to a whole new level.

“ After witnessing the success of our recent projects which now totals over 1700 sales in 18 months we now have the confidence to really push the envelope in terms of quality and design even further and continue to ensure each project is better than the last.

“ We are constantly looking to international best practice for inspiration and always evolving to ensure each building is more unique than the last. 

“ It is a relentless pursuit of perfection but my obsession with property, design and creativity means I’m very lucky that I just absolutely love what we do. It makes getting out of bed easy every day. 

“ The four architecture firms we have approached with the design competition are, I believe, at the top of their game and producing some of the best buildings in the country right now so we are keen to collaborate with the winning firm to create something incredible for the area,” he said. 

The site is located within the heart of Fitzroy North in between Brunswick and Smith Streets, and is positioned just metres from the famed Edinburgh Gardens and directly across the road from Fitzroy Swimming Pool, as well as the area’s best cafés, bars and nightlife. 

As has become the developer’s signature aesthetic, Gurner’s vision for the site is to create an iconic precinct of architectural and design excellence, with a very strict set of criteria that must be adhered to from minimum bedroom sizes, natural light and ventilation down to ensuring every kitchen has island benches and specific locations for storage and items such as cook books and vases. 

Gurner is currently reviewing and assessing the design responses from the four architect firms with plans to appoint the winning project architect next month, with the aim to launch the project by the end of 2016.