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By Fiona Hamann
October 8, 2018
Developer AVID Property Group is set to transform a derelict Surry Hills petrol station into a luxury retail and residential apartment complex with a high sustainability rating, following the recent approval from the City of Sydney.
The six-storey development, dubbed The Rathbone, will be located between 23-47 Flinders Street and will include a retail complex and 28 luxury apartments. Architecture firm Scott Carver has ensured the design remains true to the established terrace housing and heritage of Surry Hills.
The entire development sits on a 990sq m site and will incorporate 262 sqm of ground floor retail. Construction is expected to commence in early 2019 and will be completed by mid to late 2020. The approved proposal will breathe new life into a disused "island" site located just next to the immensely popular Taylor Square in Darlinghurst. The Flinders Street site is close to the urban renewal of the Bourke Street precinct.
“We’ve worked with some of the best local designers to develop an innovative project that is both sensitive to the established terrace housing and heritage that Surry Hills is famous for,” AVID CEO Cameron Holt said.
AVID will target a high sustainability score for the build by utilising a vast amount of recycled content as well as other materials and environmentally-friendly techniques. Jobsite spoke exclusively to Cameron about the project.
“AVID strives to achieve a high level of sustainability for all of its projects, and The Rathbone is no different,” said Cameron. “We’ll be aiming for a full ‘6 Leaves’ accreditation — the highest achievable as measured by the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) EnviroDevelopment rating tool, a national rating tool that provides independent verification of a project’s sustainability performance.
“Where possible, we’ll be including materials with a high level of recycled content, low volatile organic compound paints, natural ventilation, and extensive landscaping throughout the development,” continued Cameron. “We’ve used extensive modelling for the natural ventilation, incorporating wind tunnel testing of a scale-model set within the local topography and built environment.”
The high levels of sustainability are not just evident in the building process, but they are also reflected in the lifestyle needs of The Rathbone’s future residents, explained Cameron.
“We are committed to building a residential community that demonstrates sustainability in design and caters towards an array of lifestyle needs. Sustainable — or ‘green’ — features will be used throughout the project. For example, ventilation plenums will allow residents to ventilate their apartments — even when windows are closed — naturally, or without the need for fans.”
The building's name and the aesthetics have been attributed to the Rathbone Terraces that were a feature of the Surry Hills surrounds in the early 1900s. The $60 million Terrace style project is AVID’s debut into the Sydney market, with the first sod scheduled to be turned later this year.
“AVID will complete the project over the next two years, creating approximately 150 local jobs. When complete, it will become home to around 60 new residents,” said Cameron.
While representing a first into the Sydney landscape, AVID already has a strong pedigree in other markets.
“AVID is growing rapidly across Australia, particularly off the back of our flagship 4,800-home master-planned community Harmony on the Sunshine Coast, and the recent acquisitions in both the lower Hunter region — Waterford, Maitland — and in the south-east Melbourne suburb of Officer,” Cameron said.
Other high-profile developments include Harvest in Chisholm, New South Wales, and the $1 billion Bloomdale community in Diggers Rest, Victoria.
“All of these things play to our strategy to expand both our apartment portfolio and geographic footprint,” explained Cameron.
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