Urban's Q&A with Director of Little Projects, Leighton Pyke

Urban's Q&A with Director of Little Projects, Leighton Pyke
Urban's Q&A with Director of Little Projects, Leighton Pyke

Urban's Jieyee Ong, interviews Director of Little Project, Leighton Pyke, about the success of Signature Broadbeach on the Gold Coast.

Signature Broadbeach (SB) is Little Project’s first foray into Gold Coast and it has become a huge success. With fierce competition in the industry in Gold Coast, what do you think contributed to SB standing out from the rest?

One factor that we believe has contributed to the success of Signature Broadbeach is our track record in delivering high-end, quality developments. Combining a locally strategic approach, coupled with a highly credentialed team this has provided for a successful development.

With all of our developments we try to set a new benchmark for quality, and Signature Broadbeach certainly does this.

In the creation of Signature we’ve teamed up with the award-winning Rothelowman Architects and SJB Interiors. The sophisticated design they have created is certainly striking a chord with the local market and is helping the project stand out amongst other developments in the area. The project also caters to a wide range of buyers, offering one, two and three-bedroom apartments, all of which are angled towards the ocean to maximize the great views.

Signature also offers genuine value for money, given the thriving area it’s located within and the unsurpassed amenities on offer, including the Gold Coast’s only infinity edge swimming pool - something which also helps set Signature apart.

Construction for SB began last year. Did the threat of COVID-19 affect SB’s progress at all? If yes/no, why/why not?  

To date it has not affected progress. Initially, the level of demand changed due to COVID, particularly from international markets, however we are now seeing that many local owner-occupiers have been largely unaffected by the impacts of COVID-19 and we remain committed to delivering the project in the time frame we initially provided.

What were some challenges faced by Little Projects when commencing its venture into Queensland? How did the company overcome it? 

Getting the amenity offering to a standard that hasn’t been seen on the Gold Coast. This took time and a lot of thoughtful design consideration.

Most of SB’s buyers are local owner-occupiers and interstate buyers. With the COVID-19 pandemic undermining consumer confidence, what were some measures taken by the company to retain this client base? What about international buyers? How do they compare with domestic buyers in terms of confidence, enquiries etc.?

Communication and authenticity are paramount in times of uncertainty and rather than looking at COVID-19 as an opportunity to lay low, we took communication to a new level. We put aside generic electronic communication and took a highly personalised approach to our service with both new enquiry and existing purchasers. 

In any market, sophisticated buyers expect quality and value and it’s clearly evident that both will be delivered at Signature Broadbeach. Therefore, even with the level of unpredictability that was felt globally at the beginning of COVID-19, companies such as Little Projects and KM Develop that have delivered only high-quality products, provide potential purchasers and current owners with a real sense of comfort. 

Enquiry from international buyers is still coming through, however, not surprisingly in decreased volumes compared to pre-Q3 2019. We believe there is great opportunity in certain international markets post COVID-19 due to the highly publicised, successful containment measures taken by government bodies and the overarching fundamentals that have always put the Gold Coast in great demand with international buyers. 

Seeing SB’s success in its Gold Coast venture and the support from its clients, how likely is Little Projects going to continue with its expansion into Queensland? What do you think will be some of the new challenges that will be faced by developers in a post-COVID-19 world? 

We are always looking at sites both locally and on the Gold Coast. After the success we have experienced with Signature Broadbeach and the local knowledge/ network we have established, it would be wasteful not to explore the market further. Some challenges post COVID might be a possible reduction in migration thus diminishing demand and the potential further contraction of the economy. We are still debating the long-term effects that COVID-19 will have on the development industry. A lot of future impacts will centre around finding a vaccine.

Jieyee Ong

Jieyee Ong

Jie Yee is a researcher at urban.com.au with experience in business, financial and property news.

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