Want To Fly Above Melbourne?

Market Insights
8 years ago
3 minutes

Richmond, for years, has been touted as a suburb of promise, lifestyle and accessibility. Within touching distance of Melbourne’s CBD, and positioned along Melbourne’s iconic Yarra River, Richmond’s appeal and beauty is almost unquestionable. 

A long-time local entrepreneur and developer, Damian Crock, has recently announced a development tucked away in the leafy corridors of Richmond’s streets. This new development, PICA, is a personal and emotional exploration of the nostalgic view he has of Richmond and flying. Crock, the founder of the lucrative hot-air ballooning company, Picture This Ballooning, is, ironically, down-to-earth and adamant that the development is perfect. 

Offering 19 bespoke one and two bedroom apartments, PICA is directly influenced by both its surrounds, and Damian’s affinity to floating amongst the clouds. 

“The history of it all really puts Melbourne in a fortunate and beautiful light - Melbourne was the first city, anywhere in the world, to offer hot-air ballooning over a city,” said Damian Crock said as we gazed over Melbourne’s skyline, floating in one of his hot-air balloons.

“Hot air-ballooning created the foundations for my interest in development. Flying these balloons around Melbourne is all about relationships - be it with air traffic control or private land owners, the trust built between the partnerships, is something I hold very dear.”

PICA’s association to hot-air ballooning is something that they want to share with the residents. Each purchaser is flown in one of Picture This Ballooning’s hot air balloons, over the PICA site, giving great perspective of its location, but also of its surrounds.

“The balloon flight isn’t a gimmick, it is meant to be an intrinsic tie in to PICA. I am not some money-hungry hardcore developer, to me, this is a labor of love, I want PICA to be a signature of the precinct in the City of Yarra.”

Designed by ClarkeHopkinsClarke, the building’s external and internal features take a direct influence from Damian Crock’s passions, but also Richmond’s immediacy around it.

“I sat down with ClarkeHopkinsClarke, who have been around for over 50 years, and they interviewed me. They really wanted to grasp and create a building that would effectively be a mould of Richmond and the clouds.”

“We talked about the history of the building, the area; they picked up on the wicker from the balloon basket, the balloon’s fabric, the elevation, as well as the rarity of this pursuit,” Crock said.

The building itself used to be a production film studio,owned and used by Damian Crock’s design and film company.

“PICA used to be used purely for film production, and was regarded as one of Melbourne’s oldest warehouses - a lot of what we did there, was very visual - I’m a perfectionist, and I think all the purchasers so far have picked up on that.”

“Trust is important, whether it be in developing, in ballooning, or in life. My company can’t just go anywhere set up, stick up a balloon and take off, it all requires meticulous planning, precision and a great team,” Crock concluded.

PICA is offering totally customisable floorplans, in an idyllic building, location and atmosphere. 

To enquire, click here.