$50 million penthouses: Gurner to raise the bar as $1.5 billion development plans for South Yarra's Jam Factory are unveiled

Our vision for the residential offerings will raise the bar in the luxury market even higher; I wouldn’t be surprised if we create a penthouse collection that will fetch prices of up to $50 million

$50 million penthouses: Gurner to raise the bar as $1.5 billion development plans for South Yarra's Jam Factory are unveiled
The submission is expected to reach council this week. Image supplied

There wasn't too much to know about South Yarra's old jam factory on the buzzing Chapel Street, until the prominent, now national developer, Tim Gurner took control of a part of the massive 18,000 sqm site.

Now Gurner's development firm, Gurner, are set to submit plans for a massive $1.5 billion mixed-use precinct, comprising retail and entertainment, office and residential towers, an ultra-luxury hotel and a new public realm.

The globally renowned architects Bates Smart have put together the plans for the project, which is intended to create a vibrant new heart for Chapel Street while revitalising and restoring the Nineteenth Century heritage facades along Chapel and Garden Streets.

The development sees Gurner team up with the real estate manager Newmark Capital, who will deliver and retain ownership of the office space, and the leading real estate financier Qualitas, who will work with Gurner on the residential side. Gurner and Qualitas bought a chunk of the site from Newmark last year.

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The expected public benefits include the creation of 1000 jobs during construction, 3200 ongoing jobs at capacity and $490M annual ongoing GVA to the Victorian economy.  The project is slated to launch publicly to the market in early 2022 with completion earmarked for 2025.

Gurner says the exciting precinct represents the alliance of three passionate property businesses working in harmony to create something that will do the incredible site justice and take everyone’s breath away.

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 “Our vision for the residential offerings will raise the bar in the luxury market even higher; I wouldn’t be surprised if we create a penthouse collection that will fetch prices of up to $50 million," Gurner said.

“The depth of the ultra-high end of the market is certainly there and we believe there will be significant investment from wealthy expats and global investors returning to Australia after considerable time abroad, along with a doubling-down of local luxury buyers.

“This project will see us take what we have learnt over the past 17 years - in particular our recent experience with Hawksburn Place Residences and Saint Moritz - and take these residences to a new level of exclusivity and luxury once again.

“I have always been drawn to heritage sites and the Jam Factory represents one of the most exciting revitalisation precincts in Australia. I am truly excited to be working on a project that will rediscover and celebrate a heritage that has been hidden from public view for many decades.

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Gurner says the team have been working closely with council to align the proposal with their feedback and advice, to ensure the development can be a precinct for the entire community – with something for everyone who will work, live, shop or even just pass through the area.

The centrepiece of the precinct will be a new split-level central public space with a large open staircase creating an amphitheatre for events

Open laneways and spaces will link Chapel Street with the retail and entertainment precinct, creating a 24/7 shopping, food, dining and entertainment destination.

There will be four luxury residential towers, which will have over 400 apartments.

In keeping with Gurner's love for heritage buildings, the facade of the jam factory will be retained. Above will sit a curvilinear office building and a the residential towers, sat on stilts to welcome both people and light through.

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Simon Swaney, director at Bates Smart, said there is a multiplier effect for the development given it combines hotel, retail, residential, cinemas and commercial - creating a greater whole.

"This will be an extraordinary place to work, visit and live," Swaney said.

“It is a key Melbourne cultural site, a part of urban life in South Yarra, a very significant artefact of the industrial heritage of this area.

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“The high-quality residential component will offer outstanding views to surrounding districts and even toward the bay.

“We feel excited and proud about the opportunities, both architecturally and as a development that will enliven this area and Melbourne,” he said.

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Fast Facts

The proposed revised scheme, which is expected to be submitted to council this week, includes:

● A new public civic space in the form of a 1,700sqm, two-level plaza and amphitheatre

● Four luxury residential towers totalling over 400 ultra-luxury residences

● A 5-star hotel totalling around 180 keys

● A commercial floorspace totalling 22,500sqm of NLA

● Three levels of experiential retail and entertainment totalling 21,000sqm NLA, including the retention and redevelopment of the existing cinema offering

● A series of integrated laneways, based on the area’s original 1864 master plans

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Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson is a property journalist based in Sydney. Joel has been writing about the residential real estate market for the last five years, specializing in market trends and new developments across the country

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GURNER Tim Gurner South Yarra South Yarra Apartments Melbourne apartments

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