Rezoning from industrial yielding fresh residential infill housing

Zoe FieldingMarch 19, 20150 min read

Residential developments are popping up on former commercial and industrial sites in the states’ capital cities as governments rezone land to encourage higher density living close to urban centres.

Investec Australia launched a residential project in Adelaide’s inner city suburb of Bowden at the weekend on the former site of manufacturer Clipsal Corporation’s production facility.

Nigel Brophy, a director of Investec’s Infrastructure Finance & Investment business, said Adelaide’s property market was different from the markets in the other eastern states.

“I wouldn’t say the [Adelaide] market is slow,” Brophy said. “It’s steady and always consistent … It doesn’t have the high peaks but it also has not had the deep troughs. It has always been steadier.

“When the east coast markets look hot, Adelaide might look moderate but it doesn’t fall off those peaks. It has always had relatively balanced supply and demand.”

That more moderate pace meant developers needed to take note of what Adelaide residents want in a property, such as access to parkland and convenience to transport, Brophy added.

“We also have to have regard for the fact that the market is small so we have to make sure the project is in proportion to the size of the market,” he said.

The first release includes 20 two-bedroom apartments, called ‘B’ apartments after the New York B-Line which stretches from Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach to the Bronx. It is planned for completion in early 2016.

Investec is working with the South Australian Government’s Renewal SA on the project, which is part of a wider redevelopment of the former Clipsal site.

The six storey ‘B’ apartments building is the tallest development released in Bowden to date.

Brophy said he expected young people looking for convenience and people who wanted to downsize their homes to a property with security and good access to the city to be attracted to the apartments.

The apartments are opposite Kevin Taylor Park, overlooking the future Bowden Town Square and close to public transport.

Bowden is less than 4 kilometres from Adelaide’s CBD and close to park land, making the former industrial zone a prime candidate for renewal.

Similar trends are occurring in Melbourne and Sydney where rising land values in inner city locations are encouraging developers to convert commercial premises into residential property.

CBRE is marketing a warehouse property in Brunswick in Melbourne’s inner north as an infill residential development site.

That site, zoned for general residential, at 31-37 Stewart St and 12-24 Hardy St spans approximately 8,760 square metres of land over five titles with multiple street frontages. The existing property is multi-tenanted on short term leases.

“In recent years, Brunswick has supported dozens of significant and successfully completed, or under construction medium and high density residential projects, underpinned by the close Melbourne CBD proximity, established public transport links, vast amenity and lifestyle attractions on Lygon St and Sydney Rd retail strips,” said CBRE’s David Minty, who is marketing the site along with Scott Orchard and Julian White.

Orchard said developers in Melbourne’s inner north, including Collingwood, Fitzroy, Northcote and Brunswick, were experiencing strong site sales and record prices, and had strong confidence in the pre-sale market for high and medium density residential accommodation.

​ In August, R.Corp acquired a textiles factory site in West Brunswick with plans to develop the site for residential.

In Sydney, several office buildings around the city are being redeveloped as residences.

The City of Sydney council is consulting on proposals to rezone large tracts of land just to the south of the city to allow residential developments in areas that have traditionally been dominated by industrial property.

Zoe Fielding

I am a freelance journalist and editor with more than 15 years experience specialising in personal finance, property, financial services and financial technology. A skilled writer and researcher, I have extensive experience producing high quality content for corporate and media clients. I am used to working to tight deadlines and tailoring the pieces I produce to suit a variety of audiences and formats.
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