Veron brothers' Smarta Property revealed as buyer of historic Workers Dwellings at Millers Point

Veron brothers' Smarta Property revealed as buyer of historic Workers Dwellings at Millers Point
Veron brothers' Smarta Property revealed as buyer of historic Workers Dwellings at Millers Point

Smarta Property, a Double Bay-based developer, has bought the historic 33-unit Workers Dwellings building in harbourside Millers Point for $26 million which it hopes to convert into luxury apartments. 

Its plan is to refurbish the property, turning it into luxury dwellings.

The developer bought the three-storey block of 33 apartments from the NSW government as part of its public housing sell-off to fund affordable housing.

The Workers Dwellings were originally built by the Sydney Harbour trust circa 1910 for wharf labourers, storemen, stevedores and gasworks hands. 

The $26 million transaction is the largest so far in the Millers Point sales programme, through which the government has raised $448 million, according to The Australian.

The government selloff is also resulting in the gentrification of Millers Point, with the suburb transforming into an elite club.

Lawyers and real estate executives are making multimillion-dollar purchases of former hous­ing commission terraces and units and turning them into exquisite inner-city mansions.

Smarta Property, run by brothers Luke and Andrew Veron, has a history of refurbishing apartment blocks but this will be its most significant project. 

Located between 30 Lower Fort Street and 4 Trinity Avenue, the apartments are being designed to house the professionals working in the nearby Barangaroo precinct.

Smarta plans to restore the homes, bringing them up to an ultra-modern standard and selling them off within 18 months.

Any refurbishments of the historic properties must be in line with the  conservation guidelines endorsed by the NSW Heritage Council.

“We’re going to renovate, strata them, and sell them off individually,” director Luke Veron said.

Of the 33 apartments, 21 are three-bedders while the rest are one-bedroom units.

Following closure of a public tender process, the historic building was sold via negotiations managed by Peter Starr, Lorraine Crawford and Andrew Stewart of McGrath.

The project fits with Smarta’s focus on boutique projects. Recent developments include eight units in waterside Balmain and a 36-unit block in Lilyfield.

The apartments were sold in one line, rather than as four separate lots of units, as the greatest value could be realised by one developer.

With more properties being offered at Millers Point, more Barangaroo executives are tipped to chase the remaining real estate in the harbourside enclave.

“It’s going to be beautiful,” Starr said, citing London’s exclusive Knightsbridge and Kensington districts as points of comparison.

“This is the oldest suburb in Australia — but it hasn’t been in private ownership since around 1900,” he said.

The latest batch of properties will be auctioned on October 11.

Apartment Sales Millers Point, Sydney

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