A 4-year journey comes to a close - 122 Roseneath Street, a retrospective

Laurence DragomirMarch 6, 20190 min read

Here at Urban.com.au, we love to track developments from the moment they are lodged for town planning consideration to construction, and through to completion. 122 Roseneath Street represents one such project that we have been fortunate enough to follow over the course of its life cycle, having first been profiled on Urban.com.au way back in October 2015 and being added to our database in August of the same year.

This almost four year journey came to a close last month with the first residents moving into the progressive development in Clifton Hill. With community engagement and social connectivity as two of its greatest drivers, 122 Roseneath Street has been delivered by a collective of socially engaged and design oriented joint development partners comprising ICON Developments, Wulff Projects and Assemble.

Designed by Fieldwork, 122 Roseneath St. comprises 65 homes with a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments, and two and three bedroom townhouses, in addition to a retail space and resident workshop space within three buildings.

Holistically the development is characterised by its raised landscaped spines or laneways, which provide circulation and access for residents but also adequate building separation for privacy while also ensuring a green aspect. The three buildings are arranged around these green spines with a taller central apartment building in between and two rows of townhouses along the east and west boundaries transitioning down in scale to respond to neighbours. 

The raised landscape spaces allow for parking below while also creating a quasi-public space - there are no gates preventing access to the public but by raising the space and providing access via a series of stars there is some delinieation between public and private use.

A 4-year journey comes to a close - 122 Roseneath Street, a retrospective
The spines provide a green buffer and outlook between buildings. Image: Tatjana Plitt

According to the joint development partners, the approach employed for 122 Roseneath St. project represents a growing trend in Australia’s apartment market,  which incorporates human-centred design driven by shared values and psychographics of residents and the local community.

The joint development partners say that by adopting a community-led approach, they were able to attract a diverse yet like-minded group of purchasers, resulting in a housing typology that reflects the community’s needs and aspirations for the neighbourhood.

The development team, undertook a comprehensive community engagement process throughout key moments along the project's life cycle, including early engagement with local residents during town planning and organising presentations which sought feedback from prospective purchasers prior to sales and again during construction. 

Prior to the finalisation of the building’s design, the developers conducted 12 stage one design presentations which were attended by 450 people, and a further 7 stage two design presentations which were attended by 280 people.

Feedback received during these sessions informed the inclusion of a communal room for flexible uses (e.g. yoga and kids play during the day and entertaining at night), a laundry, a workshop space for bike repairs and dog washing, and edible herb garden, external operable shutters and a rooftop deck for townhouses.

This early engagement with local residents and the greater community ensured that the project earned the support of the majority of the community, avoiding VCAT and generating a positive result for locals, residents, and the development team.

A 4-year journey comes to a close - 122 Roseneath Street, a retrospective
The communal landscaped laneways not only provide access but dwell spaces. Image: Tatjana Plitt

You can track 122 Roseneath Street's four-year journey on  Urban/Urban.com.au via the links below:

We've also uploaded a number of photos from my site visit with Kyle on the 122 Roseneath Street project page. Be sure to check them out. 

ICON Development's Kyle Reeves:

“By speaking directly to our audience, we have created homes that truly reflect purchasers’ preferences and have fostered a genuine sense of community. 122 Roseneath St. demonstrates how a thoughtful, community-led approach to design can achieve strong social, cultural and commercial outcomes,” said Kyle Reeve, senior development manager at ICON Developments.

The success of the approach, which resulted in sales of over 80 per cent on the first day of launch and the remaining homes sold out within 8 weeks, meant that the developers saved $1 million on sales and marketing costs, which was then reinvested back into the building.

Residents, which consist of 85 per cent owner-occupiers, have now moved into the development of 47 apartments and 18 townhouses and represent a mix of downsizers, families, single people, and first home buyers.

The tailored approach resonated with purchasers and resulted in a high owner-occupier rate. By focusing on the role of psychographics, we were able to attract all types of buyers, from downsizers, young families, single people, first home buyers, many with children and pets, to create a community of like-minded residents. 122 Roseneath St. is an affirmation in the true value of upfront community engagement.

Lots of buyers are sceptical about buying off the plan, and I think this is rooted in the traditional lack of communication between developers and purchasers. What this model really did was open up the doors and facilitate this two-way conversation.

The model wasn’t necessarily about driving profit but testing a new approach which could assist with managing risk and delivering a better quality end product. The ability to bring potential purchasers along on the planning and design journey meant that when the time came to sell the apartments, we were very confident we had a product that purchasers wanted, at a price they were willing to pay".

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir is one of the co-founders of Urban Melbourne. Laurence has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience working in both the private and public sector specialising in architecture, urban design and planning. He also has a keen interest in the built environment, cities and Star Wars.
Icon Developments
Wulff Projects
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