Harry Triguboff encourages government to enable office conversions as apartments

Harry Triguboff encourages government to enable office conversions as apartments
Jonathan ChancellorOctober 25, 2021

The Meriton Apartments founder Harry Triguboff has called on local and state governments to enable developers to convert empty office buildings into apartments.

“The value of our city has dropped. We have unusable real estate in the best position. Something has to be done quickly," Mr Triguboff said.

“We have devalued the city by having empty offices we must act quickly if we are to use existing offices for apartments," he suggested.

He warned councils must act as it was clear there would be fewer workers returning to work in cities.

“We can’t wait for three years for (council) approvals, they must be given within three months.

“We must just have new rules which will allow the old offices and serviced apartments to be used. The urgency is to rebuild the city,” he said.

“More and more want to work from home, and I think they will want to stay at home because they don’t have to travel and owners don’t have to pay money for offices.

“I am afraid there will be a big amount of people who will not come back into the offices,” he told The Australian.

Australia’s largest unit developer noted as a result of the pandemic and the hit on tourism he planned to convert some of his 20 or so serviced apartment complexes into residential apartments.

He suggested the hospitality industry was now too volatile in terms of room rates and occupancies given the pandemic.

Triguboff noted his serviced apartments were larger than normal ones which would make it easier to convert into apartments. 

During the pandemic the government had leased seven of his serviced apartment blocks for quarantine purposes.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

Editor's Picks