Samma Group increases its residential development portfolio


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Samma Group may not be recognised instantaneously as an established Melbourne residential developer, but the Cremorne-based company has a number of subsidiaries under its umbrella which maintain a higher public profile. Chief amongst them is SPEC Property which continues to expand its portfolio of development sites throughout metropolitan Melbourne.

Hand in hand with SPEC sits in-house architecture, planning and design agency Inhabit Design which is responsible for the group's two most recent projects located in Fishermans Bend and Camberwell. Both projects shape as medium term development opportunities for the developer, which currently has a healthy workbook of residential developments.

51-59 Thistlethwaite Street and 476-486 City Road, South Melbourne

51-59 Thistlethwaite Street and 476-486 City Road, South Melbourne. Image courtesy Inhabit Design

Lodged with City of Port Phillip during January 2015, the project has already moved to an appeal setting according to Council's online planning portal. Ranging between 4 and 16 levels, the development seeks the approval of 258 apartments split between one, two and three bedroom options, with retail and commercial tenancies and community facilities included.

As part of the application, Soho dwellings, a 40sqm toy library and a 93sqm tenancy for a start-up business would be present at ground level, while an enhanced public realm would see the creation of a pedestrian/bicycle access lane adjoining the site.

Even though City of Port Phillip failed to decide upon the merits of the application within the prescribed 60 day limit, they have indicated via online documents that they were hesitant to support the proposed development in its current form. Concerns with building height and setbacks, and inconsistencies with the Fishermans Bend Strategic Framework Plan Policy and Design Guidelines were cited as major issues.

Prosper Apartments - 699 Burke Road, Camberwell

699 Burke Road, Camberwell. Image courtesy Inhabit Design

Across town and 699 Burke Road has been dubbed Prosper Apartments according the SPEC's Malaysian website. Purchased during mid 2014, the 836sqm site which is a stone's throw from Camberwell Junction is now subject to an Inhabit Design scheme seeking a 14 level apartment complex. 23 single bedroom and 42 dual bedroom dwellings constitute the apartment mix, which sit above a first floor dedicated to 635sqm of commercial office space.

Key to the tower's design is inclusion of a sizeable light well which abuts the adjoining Aerial apartment complex. With a depth in excess of 24 metres, the light well will utilise Aerial's boundary wall by transforming it into a heavily landscaped feature wall running upwards from a common outdoor area located on level 2.

The project was subject to a VCAT hearing earlier this month, with the result as yet unknown.

Other projects at planning under SPEC's guidance include 15-31 Batman Street West Melbourne and 3 Shiel Street North Melbourne which if approved would produce approximately 300 dwellings for the developer. Wasting no time post approval via VCAT, the developer is poised to launch Trilby Smith Street at 466-482 Smith Street Collingwood.

The work of Inhabit Design, Trilby is expected to feature 47 single bedroom, 20 single+study, 44 dual bedroom and six three bedroom dwellings over a 1,340sqm site.

Trilby apartments. Image courtesy Inhabit Design

Recently Samma Group formed two construction subsidiaries, namely BuildID and TriUrban Construction which undertake construction on behalf of SPEC Property. The two-pronged approach currently sees BuildID constructing The Maybloom and Billy & Co while TriUrban Construction are concerning themselves with the 111-apartment Helio on Flemington Road, which is due for completion come 2016.

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