"The real solution to the current supply issues": How Tim Gurner is solving Australia's dwindling housing supply

"The real solution to the current supply issues": How Tim Gurner is solving Australia's dwindling housing supply
Gurner's $1 billion Adelaide plans. Image supplied
Joel Robinson April 3, 2024DEVELOPER INSIGHT

Tim Gurner's Gurner™ has put its foot on the accelerator in Australia's property market.

For years Gurner was well known for his high-end, boutique apartment developments dotted across some of Melbourne's coolest suburbs, as well as wellness facilities only accessible by Melbourne's elite.

Now the developer, with a development pipeline well into the billions of dollars, is operating across four states, with key, game-changing projects in both his native Melbourne as well as in Adelaide, Sydney and the Gold Coast. There's even a hotel-like project in Port Douglas in the mix.


Tim Gurner says they have strong convictions in the Melbourne market, as well as Australia more broadly.

"Record-low supply continues to strain the market and isn’t showing any sign of improving any time soon," Gurner says.

"Meanwhile, demand is soaring, and planning issues, government inaction and record population growth have stretched supply even further.

"Governments Australia-wide simply must take more action to unlock housing supply, starting with bringing back stamp duty exemptions and encouraging foreign buyers back into the market. If there’s no action, this problem is going to become an inter-generational issue."

While Gurner's boutique arm will aim to deliver six to eight small-scale, luxury developments per year, it's Gurner's city-shaping projects which are catching the eye. It's these projects that Gurner says are the only real solutions to the current supply issues.

"We need more residences that meet different sectors of the market from short and long-term rentals through to build-to-rent offerings, alongside quality build-to-sell housing stock that’s anchored with true mixed-use offerings to create community and place-making, so that we can not only cater to record-high demand but create new cities that look to the future needs of those who live here 

"The fundamental problem facing most capital cities is that it’s extremely challenging to deliver new supply – this is pushing prices up, having a knock-on effect of higher rents and resulting in record-low vacancy rates across most of the country."

We're going to take a look at every major development Gurner has across the country.

Location: Docklands, Melbourne

Project: Elysium Fields

Address: 208-226 Harbour Esplanade, Docklands

Gurner™ has recently submitted plans for the first stage of its Docklands mega-project, Elysium Fields.

Elysium Fields aims to create a biosphere-like environment integrating advanced wellness principles, including access to anti-ageing treatments, a medical clinic, and various wellness facilities. 

At Elysium Fields, residents will have access to advanced anti-ageing protocols and equipment like cryotherapy, IV infusions, dry and infrared sauna, red light therapy, grounding and PEMF beds, alongside access to visit the Elysian Reverse Ageing Medical Clinic that will provide medical-grade treatments including MRIs, DEXA scans, brain scans, blood testing and personalised health plans. 

"The real solution to the current supply issues": How Tim Gurner is solving Australia's dwindling housing supply

The 27,000 sqm site precinct will include over 1,350 BTR and BTS apartments, a retail and hospitality precinct, a 4-star short-stay hotel of circa 100 keys and another premier 5-star hotel in the main tower of over 250 keys, with state-of-the-art conference facilities, a business club and hospitality offerings. 

The residential units, hotels, and retail spaces will sit amongst 3,700 sqm of much-needed immersive public landscapes and gardens, including a landscaped pedestrian-focused ‘path of life’ that runs the entirety of the north-south ground floor/podium plane that will be designed for running track, Yoga, meditation, training, exercise and recovery, alongside a rooftop sports court, a private wellness club, a pool club and 5,000 sqm of retail, dining and public realm amenity. 

The Fraser & Partners-designed precinct will also feature its very own botanical gardens, be geared for a 24/7, interactive retail,  dining and entertainment experience, and include a stunning, futuristic glass dome over the site,  modelled on the concept of Elysium being the utopian afterlife.  

The first stage of Elysium Fields comprises three towers, with plans to launch the first tower in Q3 of the year.

Read more: GURNER submits plans for first stage of $1.7 billion Docklands precinct, Elysium Fields

Location: St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Address: 424-426 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Gurner™'s St Kilda Road project is gathering momentum. Recently it was announced Chicago-based, international architecture firm SOM, would design the $800 million mixed-use project facing Albert Park.

SOM, who designed the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the One World Trade Centre in New York, has put pen to paper for around 200 apartments across 19 levels, with a focus on large two to four-bedroom apartments alongside retail spaces, food and beverage outlets, and extensive wellness amenities.

"The real solution to the current supply issues": How Tim Gurner is solving Australia's dwindling housing supply

The 4651 sqm corner site at 424-426 St Kilda Road – which boasts three frontages on the corner of St Kilda Road, Toorak Road and Queens Lane – will offer uninterrupted views over the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain precinct and Albert Park Lake.

Once complete, the project will boast walkability to Anzac Station, Albert Park Lake, the Royal Botanic Gardens and Fawkner Park, and be close to South Yarra’s retail and dining precinct.

Read More: Burj Khalifa, One World Trade Centre architect to design Gurner's latest Melbourne apartment development

Location: Adelaide

Address: 237 Grote Street, Adelaide

Gurner™ announced itself into the Adelaide market late last year, teaming up Kennards Self Storage to propose plans for a $1 billion mixed-use precinct to redevelop Adelaide's former Australia Post site.

The proposed plans, designed by long-time Gurner™ collaborator Elenberg Fraser, the huge precinct will deliver a new lifestyle destination for Adelaide. It will feature a five-star hotel, 600 apartments, extensive retail, food & beverage, wellness and recreation spaces, and a work club.

"The real solution to the current supply issues": How Tim Gurner is solving Australia's dwindling housing supply

In keeping with the Greener by Gurner™ vision, the development features an environmentally sustainable design to target a 5 Star Green Star Building certification, an inset energy network and a net-zero energy emissions outcome. With low cost, 100 per cent renewable energy available, and an all-electric precinct, the development is set to be carbon neutral in operation.

The inclusion of self-storage space alongside the Gurner™ residences is a unique point of difference, particularly for downsizers looking to make a move to a new apartment residence from a large, furnished family home.

Location: Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast

Project: La Pelago

Address: 108 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217

Gurner's debut Gold Coast project, La Pelago, will be one of the largest projects ever completed on the Gold Coast.

The $1.7 billion development, being developed in a joint venture with Wingate comprises four towers on Ferny Avenue.

The Resort Residences is the first stage available in the masterplan, located in the first 28 storeys of the project’s first tower, Aquia, which will soar 65 levels and have a total end value of $1 billion.

The Resort Residences have a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments ranging from $525,000 up to $1.8 million, ranging in size from 60 sqm to 200 sqm.

Aquia boasts an exclusive private wellness club, the three-level resort-style podium deck with its ‘private island’ Archipelago of pools, lagoons and relaxation areas, and direct access to a signature restaurant, bars and cafes located throughout the tower and on ground level.

After the overwhelming demand for stage one, Gurner™ is gearing up for the new release of Crystal Club, an exclusive collection of luxury residences from floors 44 to 63.

La Pelago, inspired by some of the world’s most exclusive private Archipelago resorts, has been imagined as a series of island precincts among a vast expanse of lagoon pools, with private bookable lounges and private dining areas, cabanas, sundecks, swim-up bars, restaurants and soaring mature palm trees over a three-level resort podium.

Location: Geelong

Address: 20-28 Brougham Street, Geelong

Gurner™ is also debuting in Victoria's second-largest city, having acquired a prime 2100 sqm parcel site at 20-28 Brougham Street, 300 metres from the Geelong Waterfront.

Gurner enters the Geelong market with a $300 million sustainable mixed-use precinct designed by Fender Katsalidis, featuring an activated ground plane, a hotel and urban gardens, and residential apartments above the hotel.

"The real solution to the current supply issues": How Tim Gurner is solving Australia's dwindling housing supply

“We will be bringing an incredible 5-star hotel to this location that will feature a retail and hospitality offering at the ground floor that will be reminiscent of Chelsea Market in New York," Gurner says.

“Sitting on top of the hotel will be a collection of large luxury owner-occupier residences for locals and downsizers."

Gurner has teamed up with the local property identity Dean Montgomery to restore the heritage façade of the historic four-storey, red brick building on site to house a new ground-floor food and beverage precinct.

The building will be fully carbon neutral, and will offer an environmental point of difference not seen in Australia to date.

Location: Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast

Address: 1929 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Gurner has an approved project in Burleigh Heads which will be his second project in the Gold Coast after La Pelago.

In partnership with MaxCap Group, the $150 million development will be more boutique, with just 55 apartments across an 18-level buildiing on the Gold Coast Highway.

The rooftop will be landscaped with a deck and a pool.

Designed by Warren and Mahoney in collaboration with Gurner™’s in-house design studio, the development integrates Singaporean landscaped oasis elements with elegant Japanese interior design.

Gurner is expected to launch the project in 2024.





Location: South Yarra

Project: Jam Factory

Address: 500 Chapel Street, South Yarra, VIC 3141

Gurner's once-in-a-generation plan to transform Chapel Street’s Jam Factory into a world-class retail, residential, hotel and commercial precinct will form the cornerstone of Chapel Street's future renaissance.

The five-tower redevelopment, another joint venture with Newmark Capital and Qualitas, will deliver 18,500 sqm of new retail space, 20,000 sqm of commercial office and 400 residences across 42,020 sqm of residential space, alongside a 5-star 200-room hotel, a cinema upgrade, and a new public realm.

The redevelopment, signed off by the City of Stonnington in 2022, will inject more than $800 million into the Victorian economy annually, in addition to $500 million in construction alone. Workers and residents are expected to spend more than $28 million at the precinct annually, while hotel guests will bring in over $12 million every year.

“We’ve been working closely with the project team, as well as council, to deliver something truly world-class – the redevelopment will put Chapel Street back on the map, not only as a retail hub, but as a luxury travel and lifestyle destination as well,” Gurner said.

Location: Barangaroo

Address: 189 Kent Street, Barangaroo

Gurner's $800 million Barangaroo project will sit among some of the country's most expensive apartments.

With Lendlease's One Sydney Harbour starting to settle, eyes will look toward Gurner's project which was secured from Greg Shand's Barana Group last year.

The project marks the first capital deployment within Gurner's $2 billion Build-to-Sell development fund, backed by a global institutional investor.

"The real solution to the current supply issues": How Tim Gurner is solving Australia's dwindling housing supply

The 1,195 sqm site at 189 Kent Street, adjacent to Barangaroo, received planning approval for two residential towers, ground-floor retail, restaurants, bars, a health and wellness component, and basement parking.

The site currently houses a commercial office tower with existing tenancies. Gurner™ plans to hold these tenancies until lease completion, following which it will commence residential development.

Award-winning architect FJC Studio has been appointed as architect, having won a competitive design competition between local and international architects.

Location: Port Douglas

Project: The Davidson by GURNER™

Address: 97-113 Davidson Street, Port Douglas QLD 4877

Last year Gurner revealed plans for a mixed-use hotel and residential villa development on Davidson Street in Port Douglas, just behind the Sheraton Mirage.

Gurner™ had local architecture firm Hunt Design create what is called The Davidson by GURNER™. The application reveals the central pool as the focal point of the development.

Around the pool will be a kids club, with a play area and a separate pool, a treatment space, a yoga room, a lounge, a cafe, and a separate restaurant and dining space.

"The real solution to the current supply issues": How Tim Gurner is solving Australia's dwindling housing supply

Flanking the pool will be a 107-room hotel, a mix of Garden Suites and Poolside Suites. The ground-floor Garden Suites have private access to another pool, exclusively for guests. Each Garden Suite room is 40 sqm, with a further 14 sqm of balcony space. The Poolside Suites are a touch larger. The low-rise hotel will also be home to a sky bar on level three.

45 two-level private villas then complete the resort-style development, on blocks ranging in size from 155 sqm to 470 sqm. 

Hunt Design describes The Davidson by Gurner™ as a new benchmark for luxury travel, reminiscent of a Beach Club experience. The project reflects a trend in the tourism industry towards mixed-use developments that offer a range of accommodation types, including private homes. 

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson is the Editor in Chief at Urban.com.au, managing Urban's editorial team and creating the largest news cycle for the off the plan property market in the country. Joel has been writing about residential real estate for nearly a decade, following a degree in Business Management with a major in Journalism at Leeds Beckett University in England. He specializes in off the plan apartments, and has a particular interest in the development application process for new projects.

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