Grocon’s Greenwich, Fairfield apartment development ticks the boxes

Owner occupiers are still in the hunt for apartments in Melbourne, says Grocon’s David Waldren. But they are looking for homes that are sustainable, accessible and connected to their community.

Grocon’s $40 million Greenwich Fairfield project in Melbourne’s inner-suburban Fairfield consists of 77 one, two and three bedroom apartments.

“This is the first time we have brought to the market a 5 Star Green Star-rated apartment project that complies with the Livable Housing Australia Guidelines and supports the Homes for Homes project,” says Waldren, Grocon’s national head of Planning and Design.

“We expected to attract the standard 70 per cent investor, 30 per cent owner/occupier split of buyers – but instead we got the opposite. The quality of the project has turned the market on its head,” Waldren explains.

The common wisdom may be that Melbourne has an oversupply of apartments, but buyers are still in the hunt for quality, Waldren adds.

Sales agent Dan Witkowski, associate director of Three Sixty Property Group, says he “hasn’t seen a project like this in quite a while.”

He says the development, designed by JCB Architecture and Lat27 landscapes, confirms the “pent up demand for good quality design”.

Fairfield is just six kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD along the Yarra River. While the suburb has been a sleeper for a number of years, it’s now going through a boom and “capital growth is through the roof” Witkowski says.

Witkowski says the mix of sustainability and accessibility features resonate with owner occupiers.

“A lot of downsizers are purchasing in the development, and the Livable Housing design features appeal. Buyers may not need to worry about accessibility issues now, but they want to future-proof their purchase.”

Witkowski says the project’s 5 Star Green Star rating is another selling feature.

“Even if people don’t understand the specifics, they appreciate that Grocon has committed to achieve a Green Star rating. We are getting more frequent questions about energy efficiency, acoustics and insulation, double glazing and greywater in gardens, for example, and the Green Star rating gives owners confidence that their apartment is sustainable.”

Buyers at Greenwich Fairfield are also encouraged to sign up for The Big Issue’s Homes for Homes scheme. Home owners make a commitment to donate a tax deductible 0.1 per cent of their property price at the time they sell. Funds raised support the construction of new affordable and social housing.

Witkowski says the program requires a “bit of education for purchasers” but that it is great to be able to offer buyers the chance to become part of the scheme.

Grocon’s experience with Greenwich Fairfield confirms that there is still strong demand for well-designed apartments that make the most of their assets – views, natural light and close proximity to the city centre. This is the first of a series of projects with the same brief that Grocon will bring to the markets of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane over the next couple of years.

“When everyone else is talking about a downturn in the market for apartments, mum and dad investors are buying properties – so long as they are developed to be great places to live,” Waldren concludes.