Downsizing with flexibility: Multi-generational apartment living takes over Seafarers

In addition to the amenity, the hotel provides an additional opportunity for residents to have their friends and family stay with them under the same roof, but not in the same home.
Downsizing with flexibility: Multi-generational apartment living takes over Seafarers
Seafarers
Alison Warters December 15, 2022

A new trend of sorts is starting to occur at one of Melbourne’s newest addresses. 

More than half the buyers at an exclusive hotel-branded residences in the last quarter have reserved more than one apartment. 

80 per cent of the apartments at Riverlee’s luxury mixed-use precinct, Seafarers, have been sold, taking the project’s sales total to $170 million, with just 18 properties left on the market. 

The $550 million project has been crafted in collaboration with renowned architecture firms Fender Katsalidis, Oculus, CARR design and ODO, centred on an inspired reimagining of the heritage-protected Goods Shed No.5.

The landmark development heralds a new era of luxury riverfront living, with the five-star amenity and services of the world’s leading sustainable luxury hotel at its centre. The precinct will feature a luxurious lobby lounge bar, world-class event venue and meeting spaces, a state-of-the-art health centre, food and beverage offerings, and a 3,500 sqm landscaped haven, known as Seafarers Rest.

Recent sales data has also revealed that purchasers are finding value in a new approach to multi-generational living, purchasing more than one residence to accommodate extended family members and guests.

Colliers director Brett Griffith says as more downsizers embrace luxury apartment living, they are finding unique ways to still accommodate their loved ones under one roof.

“The majority of the Seafarers community are downsizers, and 50 per cent of our buyers in the last quarter have purchased more than one apartment. We are now seeing existing Seafarers purchasers reserve additional residences for their loved ones, including one family that has bought multiple apartments,” he said.

“While it may seem unconventional at first glance, one of the biggest concerns for downsizers is where they will accommodate guests, older parents or mature-age children when the need arises. Leveraging the equity from their old family home to invest in a second property within the same building presents a solution to this.”

Home to Australia’s first 1 Hotel property, and Melbourne’s first international hotel-branded residences, Seafarers will provide residents with all the luxury amenity and services on offer within the building’s five-star hotel, including housekeeping, in-house maintenance, room service and a 24-hour valet.

In addition to the amenity, the hotel provides an additional opportunity for residents to have their friends and family stay with them under the same roof, but not in the same home.

Riverlee Development Director, David Lee said the range of luxury amenities and unparalleled level of service on offer at Seafarers appealed to a broad demographic.

“The multitude of hotel services offered – concierge, valet, personal shopping, botanical care, and many others – really appeals to many different purchaser profiles. Speaking to our purchasers, those downsizing find the hotel and included amenity a great comfort,” Lee said. 

“Their day-to-day life no longer requires a four-bedroom home, but having children and grandchildren stay, remains a constant. The hotel affords them the ability to have family stay, while at the same time enjoy the luxuries of a lower maintenance lifestyle.”

“Our residents are optimising on the opportunity to share the convenience and lifestyle benefits of Seafarers with their friends and families, and that will ultimately play a really vibrant role in the fabric of the Seafarers community.

“Seafarers has broad appeal across age groups because it brings so many elements together. It’s the combination of the sustainable luxury of 1 Hotel Melbourne and the bespoke interiors, all within the context of a Fender Katsalidis-designed building that reactivates an iconic heritage site for all of the community to enjoy.”

Between 2012 and 2015, a study conducted by the University of New South Wales found that 20 per cent of Australians live in multigenerational households — homes with more than one generation of adults.

Senior Research Fellow from the UNSW City Futures Research Centre, Dr Edgar Liu, studies the emergence of multigenerational housing in Australia. He says that while housing affordability is one of the key drivers behind the growth of multigenerational living, there were emotional factors.

“Both housing affordability and lack of quality aged care supply were factors, but many parents also reported they feel a sense of obligation in looking after their children or older parents,” Liu said.

“Those we interviewed were more likely to comment, ‘I can’t bear the thought of sending mum to a nursing home’ than, ‘I can’t find a nursing home to send mum to’. When faced with these scenarios, wealthier families are able to have more options when it concerns their living arrangements,” he added.

Currently under construction, Seafarers is slated for completion in 2024.

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Alison Warters

Alison Warters is a property journalist for Urban, based in Sydney. Alison is especially interested in the evolution of the New Build/Development space, when it comes to design innovation and sustainability.

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