The residential property development arm of OpenCorp has been relaunched as a standalone entity under the new name Equire, with almost $500 million of national projects in the pipeline,. Established in 2006, OpenCorp has grown to include five divisions offering investment advice, property management, finance broking, funds management and property development services.
Equire's most recent acquisition was a 1,400 sqm square metre site in Ivanhoe, 10 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD. The site is earmarked to have an end value of $34 million and will include approximately 45 apartments, with a mix of one, two and three bedrooms to suit a variety of purchasers.
Urban Melbourne asked Equire director and OpenCorp founder Allister Lewison about the rebrand and his aspirations for Equire.
Urban Melbourne : What are your ambitions for Equire? What are the types of projects you want Equire to be synonymous with?
Allister Lewison : At Equire, our core ambition is to build brighter futures for our customers, partners and investors. We want to continue to deliver solutions based not only on what the market needs now but also into the future.
A core feature of our projects is design excellence – we only create products that will stand the test of time and that are most suitable for our buyers. This might be high-end downsizer apartments in Perth or a first home buyer land subdivision in Brisbane. We make sure that the product we are delivering meets and exceeds the expectations of our purchasers
UM : Is there any overlap between Equire and the other divisions of OpenCorp, in terms of support on projects?
AL : There is definitely an overlap between Equire and the other divisions within the OpenCorp Group. We share and work closely with our funds, finance and invest divisions.
UM : What future projects are on the horizon for Equire, particularly in Melbourne?
AL : In Melbourne, we will soon be launching our Ivanhoe apartment project. This will include a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments focusing on functionality, style and luxury. The project will be placed amongst Ivanhoe’s leafy streetscapes and likely attract downsizers, first home buyers and investors.
We are also currently contracting a site in South East Queensland for a 300-lot subdivision.
UM : Can you provide an update on your new project in Ivanhoe? When is it likely to launch?
AL : Equire’s latest apartment project in Ivanhoe is set to launch in November 2018. The project will be perfectly located close to public transport, parklands and shops. Our project will steer away from bland apartment buildings and will showcase the best of Ivanhoe’s beautiful streetscape. The architectural design will utilise curved geometry to speak to the art deco aesthetic of the Ivanhoe locality, with lush landscaping incorporated in the architectural design to allow the greenery to build on the character of the building façade.
UM : What are your thoughts on the state of the residential property market in Melbourne at present?
AL : Melbourne continues to be one of the hottest residential markets in the country, and at the moment we are noticing an influx of first home buyers and downsizers. Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that loans to Victorian first home buyers reached its highest monthly level in November 2017, at 3527, since late 2009.
We are seeing a demand for good quality, small-scale apartment projects as well as townhouse developments.
UM : In terms of future growth aspirations for Equire, where in Australia do you see the most potential in the residential property market?
AL : We are noticing a lot of potential for residential property in Queensland, most notably in the South East. Data shows that there is forecast growth for the region, particularly due to the Commonwealth Games in April where the government is set to spend up to $1.5 billion on infrastructure and improvements. Additionally, the Gold Coast is one of Australia’s fastest growing cities.
Its current population is over 500,000 and this number is expected to grow to 820,000 in the next 20 years, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
We are currently contracting a site in South East Queensland as well as continuing to monitor the market for any further opportunities.