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July 31, 2017
Property developer Tim Gurner has submitted plans to Yarra Council to build a 14-level residential block in Collingwood, an inner suburb of Melbourne. The proposed development will stretch almost 200 metres along Wellington Street across a 5100-square-metre site.Gurner’s new residential development will consist of 383 apartments and will cost $67 million to build. It will also include over 1,700 square metres of office space, 1,290 square metres of retail space at ground level and a restaurant.The development is the latest addition to a massive influx of residential and commercial developments in one of Melbourne’s oldest suburbs. Historically a middle class suburb, Collingwood is in the midst of a building boom with developers like Gurner actively searching for former industrial sites in the area to transform into office spaces and residential apartments.In addition to Gurner’s proposal, Cbus Property have already received approval for a 14-level residential development, and commercial developer Grocon has also commenced work on a 14-level office building in close proximity to the proposed site.The Collingwood high-rise plan has already been met with a similar storm of protest as Gurner’s last plan for a 16-floor development on North Fitzroy's, Queens Parade. Yarra Council’s Councillor Stephen Jolly described the proposed development as a, “sparkling white, Las Vegas building Photoshopped onto a map of Collingwood.”
In response to backlash on the project, a spokesperson for Gurner, has said that the design has been “grossly misrepresented”.Gurner has been quick to declare that his firm is working with the council to amend the original design, which reduces the massing and height. He says that the project will "deliver not only much-needed attainable housing options but everything right up to luxury three and four-bedroom [dwellings]."A local resident who works in in the property development industry told Jobsite, “Knowing Gurner Developments, I think this reinforces the demand for high quality, high density apartments in areas that are ripe for gentrification.”The pricing for the new development begins at $425,000 for a one-bedroom apartment, $520,000 for a two-bedroom apartment and three-bedroom apartments being priced between $950,000 and $1.55 million.
Commenting on the development in an interview with Jobsite, Guy Coles, Senior Property Consultant at Fletchers, Balwyn North said, “Family sized dwellings of three or four bedrooms would be an interesting trend for apartment complexes, getting away from the “Docklands model” which was really targeted at the investor market.”The development will go through a public review process, allowing local residents to submit any objections or concerns. If there are five or more objections, planning officers will make a recommendation to councillors regarding the future of the development, who will ultimately determine whether Gurner’s development can go ahead.When asked whether the council is likely to approve the development, Mr Coles said “It will most likely go ahead in some form, there may well be some concession made along the way to gain approval.”
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