Friday, 28 March 2014

Brisbane Long Term Infrastructure Plan 2012-2031

  Brisbane Long Term Infrastructure Plan 2012-2031

This grandly named document came to council this week. It is supposed to list all projects needed for Brisbane for the 2012-2031 period.
There are a few interesting facts that were included. Brisbane City Council will run out of capacity at landfill sites by 2020. No doubt this is not being helped by Brisbane agreeing to take all of Redlands rubbish last year when Redlands ran out of landfill. There was no indication where any new dump would go but it was stated that BCC needed to work out a location in conjunction with other South East Queensland councils.
Another massive expensive tunnel project called East West Link which would run from Toowong to Woolloongabba is included. The timing was to have the tunnel built in 11 to 20 years. Perhaps the city will be able to afford this after paying off the major projects that have been already undertaken and the western suburbs tunnel Legacy Way which is being started now.
Reference is made to grade separating key railway open level crossings but no crossings are specified. Local residents will recall former Lord Mayor Campbell Newman’s promise in his 2003 campaign to build a flyover over the Lindum level crossing. This important upgrade remains in limbo.
A map entitled “Strategic community hubs”  shows a “community hub “ and a library somewhere in Wynnum West ,Manly West or Tingalpa. However Council has promised a new library and a community centre in Wynnum Central at the old Wynnum Central School Site recently so what is to happen at these other suburbs ? When I find out I will let you know. 40 % of Manly West and all of Tingalpa are in Doboy ward represented by my colleague John Campbell.
The Australia Trade Coast (ATC ) is the area south and north of the river comprising the Port of Brisbane, Lytton Industrial Estate and Hemmant and the Brisbane Airport industrial area. The ATC is expected to support around 33 000 additional jobs over the next 20 years. Can Wynnum Manly be one of the residential areas where many of these workers live ?
Another part of the Long Term Infrastructure Plan relates to major road network projects, These include the following;-
-          Wynnum Road from Shafston Avenue to Hawthorne Road some time in the next 10 years – no cost available
-          Wondall Road from Manly Road to Radford Road – $ 17 million - 6 to 10 years
-          Green Camp Road from Manly Road to Rickertt Road –$ 60 million -  6 to 10 years
-          Manly Road from Green Camp road to Preston Road – $ 60 million -  11 to 20 years
-          Tilley Road Extension from Wondall Road to Lytton Road – $ 60 million - 1 to 10 years
In relation to cycle infrastructure an arterial commuter cycle bikeway from the CBD to Carindale and Wynnum Manly in 6 to 10 years – no cost available.
The new district community hub whatever that means at Wynnum West Manly or Tingalpa has $ 10 million allocated and a timeframe of 6 to 20 years.
The major upgrade of existing district integrated facility for Wynnum which may be the new library has had $ 3.2 million allocated and has a 1-10 year framework. I have demanded the new library be open well before the next council election in March 2016.
A new district indoor sports facility is proposed for Wynnum Manly at the cost of $ 5 million in 1 to 5 years. As residents would know I am keen on sporting facilities to encourage people to play sport and keep fit so I will be seeking details of this proposal.
A new district park is proposed for 880 Manly Road which is in Doboy but close to Wynnum Manly. The cost is $ 4 million and the time frame 1-5 years. This park is also a possible site for a high quality netball facility for the district.
The plan also refers to the redevelopment of the Lota foreshore for $ 2 million sometime during the next 10 years but regretfully I believe this is an error as this amount has already been spent in the last couple of years. I would be delighted to see another $ 2 million spent but will have to clarify the situation. 

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Brisbane meting report - Wynnum Rd resumptions.

Brisbane meting report - Wynnum Rd resumptions.

Please open this by clicking above link in blue

Breakfast with Spencer Howson

5:00am - 7:45am

BCC meting report - Wynnum Rd resumptions, pursuing unpaid rates in Indonesia

19 March 2014 , 9:11 AM by Spencer Howson

At the Brisbane City Council meeting last night, there were some big numbers being tossed around.
Council is spending 60-million dollars on the first stage of widening Wynnum Road near Mowbray Park, half of the budget is resuming homes and front yards from Shafston Street to Hawthorne.
Tony Moore from the Brisbane Times explains (clip includes Deputy Mayor Cr Adrian Schrinner and opposition councillor Shayne Shutton, thanks to ABC News reporter Andree Withey):

Homes may be resumed in Wynnum Road widening

Lytton and Wynnum Roads in the area slated for widening Lytton and Wynnum Roads in the area slated for widening
A staggering $30 million of the $60 million being spent to widen Wynnum Road near Mowbray Park will be spent resuming front yards and possibly some of Brisbane's most expensive homes
The full project could cost more than $150 million.
Roadworks along the exclusive inner-city section of Wynnum Road - already one of Brisbane's most congested - will be severe and will take several years when work starts in late 2016.
The $30 million figure was revealed in Brisbane City Council chambers on Tuesday for the first time after Labor councillors quizzed lord mayor Graham Quirk about the route he announced six weeks ago.
On February 4, Cr Quirk announced the four-lane Wynnum Road will be widened to five lanes; three lanes inbound and two wider lanes outbound.
Stage One runs between Mowbray Park on Lytton Road to the Canning Bridge at Norman Park, while Stage Two runs from the Canning Bridge to Hawthorne Road, which runs to Bulimba.
Work will start in 2016-17 after community consultation.
Labor councillors Shayne Sutton and Helen Abrahams pressed the lord mayor to outline the impact on 63 homes in Stage 1 of the project.
Some Norman Park residents who have contacted Cr Sutton have spoken about losing two metres from their front yards.
However it was deputy mayor and infrastructure committee chairman Adrian Schrinner who shocked the chamber by revealing the cost of resumptions.
"This will give councillors some idea of why this project is so challenging," Cr Shrinner said.
"Out of the $60 million, it is estimated that half of that will involve property resumptions," he said.
"So around $30 million of that $60 million will simply involve property resumptions."
Cr Shrinner said that the resumptions may not include houses on the blocks.
"Not all those properties are full resumptions of properties, some are partial resumptions," he said.
Cr Shrinner said residents in Norman Park - further along Wynnum Road - should be aware resumptions would be needed in Stage Two works, which are still being planned.
"We are talking about very expensive property along that section of Wynnum Road, but we can't widen Wynnum Road, if we don't have enough space."
Bulimba Ward councillor Shayne Sutton - who supports the road widening project - said the resumption figure was a shock.
"The $30 million resumption figure was a figure much higher than anyone anticipated," Cr Sutton said.
"Which is why I think it is important that the LNP administration be upfront with residents who have property along this section of road."
Cr Abrahams - who also backs the project - said traffic congestion would be a massive problem.
"The congestion alongWynnum Road coming into the city would be one of the top five congested roads in the city," Cr Abrahams said.
"I'm very aware that the work has to be undertaken in Lytton Road, but then it must continue on Wynnum Road, which is the point of maximum congestion."
Earlier Cr Quirk defended the fact that the two local Labor councillors still had not been able to see the file on the Wynnum Road project, six weeks after he had made the announcement.
He said the work was in Cr Abraham's ward, not in Cr Sutton's ward.
However it was later revealed that Stage One work is in Cr Abrahams Gabba ward, while the Stage Two works are in Cr Sutton's Morningside ward.
"This is a project that goes through the Morningside Ward and the Gabba Ward and I am a local councillor affected by this project."
Cr Quirk drew laughs from his side of the chamber.
"No, no, no, no. It does not," Cr Quirk said.
But maps show the two-stage project does run through both wards and councillors Sutton and Abrahams accused Cr Quirk of misleading the council chamber.

Monday, 24 March 2014

NSW Public housing tenants to lose their Sydney Harbour homes in NSW Government sell-off

Public housing tenants to lose their Sydney Harbour homes in NSW Government sell-off

Updated Thu 20 Mar 2014, 8:25am AEDT
Hundreds of public housing tenants will lose their Sydney Harbour foreshore homes after the New South Wales Government announced they will be sold to the highest bidder.
The 293 properties have been earmarked for sale in Millers Point, Gloucester Street and The Rocks, including the iconic Sirius tower near the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The Government says the properties are too expensive to maintain and would require a significant investment to bring them up to an acceptable standard.
It is also keen to capitalise on potential high sale values.
Community Services Minister Pru Goward says some rents are subsidised by up to $40,000 a year.
"I can not look other public housing tenants in the eye when we preside over such an unfair distribution of subsidies," she said.
"Every dollar that is raised from the sale will be reinvested in social housing support."
The decision will affect 400 tenants, who have been given two years to move.
"This is a two-year process that will begin with a meeting with each household to discuss their housing needs and where they might like to go," Ms Goward said.

"They might like to move closer to family and friends on the Central Coast."
Barry Gardner has lived in Millers Point for 65 years.
"I am gutted. I've known nowhere else in my life," he said.
"To go where? I just don't know what I'd do."
The decision has also upset the Maritime Union because many former dock workers live in the properties up for sale.
The union's Sydney branch secretary, Paul McAleer, says the residents deserve to be treated better.
"The government has no right whatsoever to sell these homes off," he said.
"It is an absolute disgrace that this government is treating these people in such a deceitful and disgraceful way."
Sydney's Lord Mayor Clover Moore is promising a fight against the state government's plans.
She says it is a shocking decision.
"What we need is a balance. We need a balance of people living in our city. We don't want our city to just be for very rich people," she said.

"I think they're going to fight very hard. I think the people down here are fighters you know and that goes back decades."

Sunday, 23 March 2014

RP Data research: Where property sells for a profit

       RP Data research: Where property sells for a profit

House price reserves smashed 5:05
A full wrap of the nations property sales for the week ending March 15th 2014.
  • New published research by RP Data
  • Number of homes selling for a profit rising
  • Best region for making a profit revealed
  • Worst performing region also revealed
PROPERTY ownership has started to pay off big time with new figures revealing sellers raked in $15.2 billion in profits during the last three months of last year.
The market is continuing to claw back lost ground with the number of properties selling for a profit on the increase.
New figures from RP Data reveal the number of profit making resales of properties throughout the country improved during the December quarter.
The country’s best region for turning a profit was Victoria’s Loddon Shire region, followed by Sydney, Perth, Central Highlands in Victoria and the Darling Downs in Queensland.
FOR $150,000 you can buy a four-bedroom home at 7 Gordon St, Boort within Victoria’s Lodd
For $150,000 you can buy a four-bedroom home at 7 Gordon St, Boort within Victoria’s Loddon region, the country’s best region for turning a profit. Picture: Source: Supplied

Queensland’s far north was the worst performer with 28.8 per cent of all sales during the December quarter for less than the owners originally bought. More than a fifth of property sales during the quarter in regional Queensland were at a loss.
Regional Western Australia also performed poorly with almost a fifth of sales at a loss.
Demand remained strong for properties within capital cities with only 6.5 per cent of those at a loss — the lowest level since mid 2011.
In Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra the proportion of loss making sales was highest for homes
resold between one and three years.
In Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart and Darwin homes which resold between three and five years after purchase were most likely to sell at a loss.
In Perth, homes purchased between five years and seven years ago were the most likely to
sell at a loss over the quarter.
WITH a price guide of over $1.2 million this three-bedroom home is in Portman St, Zetland
With a price guide of over $1.2 million this three-bedroom home in Portman St, Zetland, within the Sydney council region, lies in the second most popular region in the country for making a profit on property. Picture: Source: Supplied

There were 74,595 properties sold during the last quarter of 2013 with only 9.7 per cent of those selling for less than the owners originally paid for them.
Losses in the December quarter totalled $457.3 million, which was an improvement on the previous quarter when 11.1 per cent of sales were at a loss.
The vast majority, 90.3 per cent, of sales during the December quarter were at a profit worth a total of $15.2 billion.
About a third of these owners at least doubled their money when they sold, but the average gross profit per sale was $225,088.
The average time to own a property before selling for a profit was 9.9 years, but if you want to double your money you need to live there for about 16 years.
A cute cottage for sale at 8 Galway Grove, Tranmere, within South Australia’s region most
A cute cottage for sale at 8 Galway Grove, Tranmere, within South Australia’s region most likely to return a property profit. Picture: Source: Supplied

RP Data research analyst Cameron Kusher said the likelihood of making a gross profit or loss was quite different based on the length of time a property was owned.
Homes bought before the Global Financial Crisis (January 1, 2008) which sold in the December quarter generally sold at a profit.
But 17.6 per cent of properties bought after that date and sold in December were for less than originally paid.
Mr Kusher said the results reflected the broader housing market trends at the moment.
“We are seeing values increase pretty much in all capital cities and a lot of regional markets as well,’’ he said.
“It does tend to reflect what we are seeing broadly but still on a historical basis the proportion of loss making sales is certainly elevated when compared to ten years ago.’’

A home for sale at 23 Robertson Crescent, Prince Henry Heights is in the Darling Downs, Q
A home for sale at 23 Robertson Crescent, Prince Henry Heights, in the Darling Downs, Queensland’s best region for turning a property profit. Picture: Source: Supplied

Mr Kusher said the market appeared to be heading in the right direction, but the lifestyle market was still struggling a little.
“The lifestyle markets definitely are areas where we have seen the highest proportion of loss making sales, but again in those regions like the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, far north Queensland, south west Western Australia, although the proportion of loss making sales is still quite high it is trending down quite rapidly in those areas as well. Again that mirrors what we are seeing across those housing markets were we are now seeing some low levels of capital growth coming in.’’

LIFESTYLE markets including the Sunshine Coast are still struggling a little. Picture: Me
LIFESTYLE markets including the Sunshine Coast are still struggling a little. Picture: Megan Slade. Source: News Limited

“It just reiterates the long-term nature of investing in the housing market,’’ Mr Kusher said.
“I think what we have seen more recently is reflective of the market going forward, so people need to take a long-term view of buying property.’’
Mr Kusher said there had been a deterioration in performance in mining towns.
“Two quarters ago they were recording the lowest proportion of loss making sales, now certainly we have seen some escalation of loss making sales in areas like the Pilbara region, the Kimberley region, those mining areas in Queensland, Mackay and those sort of areas as well.’’
The best performing council area within greater Brisbane was the Brisbane City Council area, where 90.7 per cent of sales were at a profit.
In Sydney, 100 per cent of sales in the Burwood and Hunters Hill council areas were at a profit.
In Melbourne both Banyule and Knox council areas were the best performers with 97.9 per cent of sales in each area at a profit.
In Adelaide every sale in Walkerville council region was at a profit during the December quarter, while in Perth the Gosnells council area was the best performer with 98.8 per cent of sales at a profit.
Hobart was the best performing council region within Hobart with 89.6 per cent of sales at a profit, in Darwin it was the Darwin council area with 92.4 per cent of sales at a profit, and in the Canberra council region 92.6 per cent of sales were at a profit.

Regions with lowest proportion of loss making resales
LODDON (Vic) (2.1%)
SYDNEY (NSW) (3.6%)
PERTH (WA) (4.3%)
CENTRAL Highlands (Vic) (4.3%)
DARLING Downs (Qld) (4.8%)
BARWON (Vic) (4.9%)
WIMMERA (Vic) (6.0%)
Melbourne (Vic) (6.0%)
GIPPSLAND (Vic) (6.3%)
Source: RP Data
A home for sale at 23 Robertson Crescent, Prince Henry Heights, in the Darling Downs, Que
A home for sale at 23 Robertson Crescent, Prince Henry Heights, in the Darling Downs, Queensland’s best region for turning a property profit. Picture: Source: Supplied

Saturday, 22 March 2014

VIC Planning Minister Matthew Guy sparks sprawl fears as Torquay land is rezoned

Planning Minister Matthew Guy sparks sprawl fears as Torquay land is rezoned


Locals at the site today. Residents of Torquay are furious that their town has been rezoned. Photo: Pat Scala
Thousands of homes are expected to be built at Torquay, west along the Great Ocean Road, after Planning Minister Matthew Guy rezoned a large parcel of land for urban development.
Mr Guy rezoned 240 hectares west of Duffields Road and north of the Great Ocean Road in the town as an ''urban growth zone'', the first step in opening farmland to residential and commercial development.
In December Surf Coast Shire Council requested the minister do the opposite and reduce the town boundary to Duffields Road.

Mr Guy said he had taken the advice of a planning panel report to rezone the land for development, and the decision would not mean urban sprawl at Torquay. ''It's not permits to build, there is still a structure plan to flow and in our decision one of the things we have stated is we don't want to impose Melbourne-style urban growth in Torquay,'' he said.
Mr Guy said he did not always take the advice of planning panel reports but ''in this one I certainly have''.
He said development in the Spring Creek area of Torquay had been a political football since the former Labor government expanded the town boundary - ''and it is time to put a full stop on this issue''.
Mr Guy said he discussed the Torquay rezoning with the Liberal Party member for the marginal seat of South Barwon, Andrew Katos, and Mr Katos supported his decision. Sid Pope, from the 3228 Residents Association, said the community was furious with Mr Guy's rezoning and he promised to actively campaign against Mr Katos at the November state election.
''He [Mr Guy] ignores community consultation, he ignores democracy and attacks a very brave council,'' Mr Pope said. ''It is a win for developers.''
Sue O'Shanassy, also from the residents association, said: ''The biggest disappointment is we haven't been listened to.
''There has been an extensive amount of consultation initiated by the council and for years it has shown the community would prefer growth in Torquay to go to the north and not into the Spring Creek valley.
''There is no benefit that I can think of for the community in developing the valley other than the money the developers and the landowners will make.''
In a statement Surf Coast Shire said the community would be disappointed by Mr Guy's decision to rezone the land west of Duffields Road.
''Council has listened and responded to the feedback received and I know many people will be disappointed by the decision of the Planning Minister,'' mayor Rose Hodge said.
In 2009 about 1000 opponents to development in the area gathered at Spring Creek to voice their concern.
They included international musician Xavier Rudd, who grew up near Bells Beach.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Rockwell Olivier - Australia: When your house is no longer a home: considerations when selling your property

Australia: When your house is no longer a home: considerations when selling your property

Last Updated: 6 March 2014
Article by John Gdanski

Many Australians scrimp and save for years to purchase, if not their dream home, at least a home where they can live comfortably for decades to come. But what happens when you want to sell your residential property? What are the tax implications – CGT, exemptions and the like? And what if you want to buy a new home but keep your previous property as an investment?
Here's our rundown on what to expect, and what your options might be, when selling your property.

What are the capital gains tax consequences when selling your main residence?

At some point in the future, you may choose to sell your main residence (the home where you live most of the time) and live somewhere else. If you sell your main residence at a capital gain (more than you paid for it), this gain may qualify for either a full or partial exemption from capital gains tax (CGT).
You will be able to obtain a full CGT main residence exemption so long as the following three conditions are met:
  • You have used the dwelling as your home for the whole period you owned it;
  • During this period, you never used the dwelling to produce assessable income (e.g. rented it out or used part of the dwelling as a home office); and
  • The land on which the dwelling is situated is 2 hectares or less in size.
On the other hand, if you've used the residence to produce assessable income in the period you owned it (subject to specific absence rules discussed below), a partial CGT main residence exemption will apply. In this case, the CGT will be apportioned to only include those periods where the residence was not used to produce assessable income. This is demonstrated in the example below.
Example of a partial CGT main residence exemption
Sally buys her home on 15 June 2008 for $800,000, and lives there until 14 June 2011. From this date, Sally decides to rent the property out to tenants. Two years later on 15 June 2013, Sally sells the house for $1.2 million.
The capital gain on the sale is $400,000. However, Sally is only entitled to a partial CGT main residence exemption because she derived income from the property for some of the time she owned it (the rent from her tenants). The amount of capital gain that will be exempt is the proportion of the time the house was used as a main residence (ie. 3 of the 5 years that Sally owned the house).
Therefore, Sally's exempt capital gain will equal 3/5 x $400,000 = $240,000. This means Sally's taxable capital gain will be $160,000 (i.e. $400,000-$240,000).
Since Sally owned the property for more than 12 months, she will also be eligible for the CGT discount. This means that she will only be subject to $80,000 CGT on the sale of the property.

How is this affected by the 6 year absence rule?

It will normally only be possible for a property to qualify as your main residence if you live in the property and treat it as your main residence. However, in some circumstances, it's still possible to treat the property as your main residence even if you were absent from the property for up to 6 years.
This concession can be very beneficial, especially if you're considering moving out of your home to live somewhere else. It's important that a move such as this is for a valid reason (eg. because you're going overseas for your work) or the 6 year absence rule may not apply.
The 6 year period is reset each time an owner starts using the house as a main residence again (so you can have multiple six-year itches). Generally, it isn't possible to claim the main residence exemption on another property at the same time.
Example of the 6 year absence rule
William buys a house in 2005, and occupies it as his main residence. In August 2008, William moves overseas for work and rents out the house during his time away. In 2009, William returns to Australia and moves back into his house. However, in 2010, William goes overseas again to work for a period of 24 months. In 2012 William returns to Australia, and wants to sell the house.
The full CGT main residence exemption will apply, so that no CGT will be payable on sale of the property. This is because William was never away from his property for more than 6 years at a time, and had a good reason to move away. What makes this scenario different from Sally's is that William did not treat any other property as his main residence during his period of absence.

Turning your main residence into an investment property

Another possibility that may arise in the future is where you want to move out of your main residence and live somewhere else, while keeping the original property as an investment. For example, you may have been relocated for work, or you may want to downsize where you live (eg. the so-called empty nesters whose children have left home).
In these kinds of circumstances, it may be possible for your main residence to become an investment property. It's important to understand that converting your main residence in this way may have important tax consequences.
Tax deductions in relation to rental expenses
Generally, it's only possible to deduct rental expenses that were incurred to derive income from an investment property (so long as these expenses were not of a private or capital nature). Depending of what kind of rental expenses are involved, these expenses can either be deducted immediately or over time.
Some of the expenses that may be immediately deductible include:
  • interest paid as part of the loan repayment
  • the cost of advertising for tenants
  • lease document expenses and legal expenses
  • repairs and maintenance to the property
  • body corporate fees and charges related to administration
  • council rates and insurance
Some of the expenses that may only be claimed over time include:
  • borrowing expenses of more than $100 if spread over the lesser of 5 years or the term of the loan
  • amounts for the decline in the value of depreciating assets over their effective life (if more than $300)
There are some expenses you can't claim as a tax deduction. These include acquisition and disposal costs of the property (these are capital in nature), expenses incurred by someone else (e.g. electricity charges the tenants have paid), and expenses unrelated to the rental of a property.

Considerations for the future

If you're thinking about changing homes, or moving overseas, it's important to understand the tax consequences of such a decision. For example, as outlined above, there may be capital gain implications involved when selling your main residence or various tax benefits available should you choose to turn your main residence into an investment property.
It's important to note the advice set out here is of a general nature. As such, the tax consequences may differ depending on your individual circumstances, and so you should always seek further advice.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

More Blacktown City reserves earmarked for sale

More Blacktown City reserves earmarked for sale

Emerton residents in Helena Avenue successfully campaigned to get the road island off Blacktown Council's small reserves list earmarked for sale. Picture: Helen Nezdropa

Time will tell if more of these signs (pictured) soon pop up at small reserves.
Blacktown Council has conducted its third and final review of 152 reserves less than 0.15 hectares.
A report recommends an additional 32 small reserves be added to the list earmarked for possible sale and rezoning.

Sites include 
Durham Street in Mount Druitt, 
Buring Crescent, 
Bunker Street and 
Minchin drive in Minchinbury, 
Hyatts Road and Aquilina Drive in Plumpton, 
Nauru Crescent in Lethbridge Park and 
Gracilis Way in Bidwill.

The report estimates the council will immediately save almost $20,700 if the 32 sites are sold by removing 15 contractors from the serving program.

It’s recommended six proposed sites with play equipment be only partially rezoned or another local playground be created nearby.
The completed review means 85 sites are now recommended to be progressed for planning proposal, which will involve community consultation and a public exhibition period.
The process is expected to take 18 months.
Proceeds from the parks sale will go towards ‘‘mega parks’’ in each of the five wards.
Reserves on the original rezoning list but later taken off are among 67 removed from further consideration.
Labor Councillors had the numbers last week voted not to proceed with the small reserves sale and for individual site reports be returned to the council following community consultation. 
With three councillors absent, the Liberals are expected overturn Labor’s motion next week.
Councillors have previously reiterated reserves won’t be rezoned if their respective communities demonstrate a need for them.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

QLD An architect’s view on the future of apartment design

(if you see this on your email - open this link to see better lay pout by clicking above blue text.)

QLD An architect’s view on the future of apartment design
Apartment 1 - Feature
Have you ever imagined what the apartment building of the future may look like? With technology rapidly advancing and the price and demand for inner city dwellings on the increase, it is inevitable that the apartment buildings of the future will be very different to the ones of today.
Brisbane-based Ellivo Architects have compiled a series of trends and technologies that will mould and define what we may all be calling home in the very near future.
Your Apartment:
The apartment building of the future will be close to self-sustainable. Energy will be generated from a combination of photovoltaic and piezoelectric materials. The traditional components of the building (roof, walls, glazing) will absorb the light from the sun with organic solar technology and turn it into electricity and heat. Rain water will be captured and converted to filtered drinking water using nano-filtration systems.
As inner-city sites become limited and costly the average apartment size will reduce and make use of every available square metre.  Storage areas and flexibility of spaces will be a priority. Adaptable room layouts that can be reconfigured on demand will blur the definition of what is currently considered a “room”.
Fast forward even further into the future. Morphable Claytronics will replace traditional furniture pieces allowing beds to morph into a large dining table and then into a sofa. Pieces will mould themselves to suit the individual.  Carpets, tiles, walls, ceilings can morph their texture, pattern or colour on demand and to suit your specific taste.
Intelligent surfaces will transform certain walls and bench tops into touch screens. These surfaces will allow you to read your emails, check your calendar and view the latest surf reports whilst you brush your teeth.
Apartment 2

Multi-layered building envelopes will allow glazing to automatically adjust its opacity depending on time of day to optimize the level of natural light.
Your car:
Electric or hybrid cars are already in showrooms and on the roads. Ellivo Architects are currently providing communal and individual recharge points in some of their projects.
This evolution in vehicles will influence car park and basement arrangements and sizes. Adoption of Car Stackers will be inevitable as inner-city sites become limited and costly in a similar way to Sydney & Melbourne. The size of individual cars spaces will be re-evaluated to reflect the average size of the future vehicle and no longer reflect the proportions of a Ford Fairlane or Holden Statesman.
There will be an increase in dedicated bike storage. This will be in direct response to user requirements and government initiatives to enforce sustainable transportation alternatives.
Your Rubbish Bin:
Organic waste from kitchens may be converted into energy through anaerobic systems and stored for common use.  Recycling and communal roof top garden will reclassify. what we consider rubbish and what is not. Traditional refuse rooms and refuse collection system will be superseded by direct connections to Underground Waste Management Systems, similar to sewer and storm water services. No need for bin rooms, collection areas, and valuable space lost for refuse collection trucks. This system will reduce noise pollution on collection days, reduce traffic, and reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions.  This system is already being considered by many large cities around the world, including Sydney.
Your Backyard:
The size of apartments are likely to continue to reduce in size. This will place an even greater importance on the communal areas of apartment buildings. These spaces will become the social and entertainment hubs of the buildings. Not only will they incorporate usual amenities such as pools, spas and BBQ areas but also providing landscaped private areas for smaller gatherings. These areas will incorporate intelligent surfaces and wifi technologies. This will allow you to use these spaces as an extension of your living areas to catch-up on work or communicate with friends whilst lazing by the pool. Strategic placement of these communal precincts will be prioritised in the building designs in order to provide optimal aspects, views and accessibility.
Apartment 3

Some of the technological advances mentioned above are already starting to work their way into the design of apartments. Other new concepts may take a little longer to come into fruition. One thing we do know is that the design improvements of tomorrow are ever increasing and the way we live our lives will be influenced by these changes forever.

This article was written by Daniel Volpato and Fabiola Dal’Boit from Ellivo Architects.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

NSW Oceania’s The Bay Residences helps put Double Bay back on the map

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NSW - Oceania’s The Bay Residences helps put Double Bay back on the map

Sydney’s Double Bay has sprung back to life, with many believing it is close to regaining its mantle as a Mecca for Sydney’s influential, talented and famous.
Bay Residences 1
An extensive street beautification program – undertaken by the local Council – has attracted new retailers and a younger demographic, The Cosmopolitan Centre is buzzing again, a $50-Million Woolworths is about to open, and The InterContinental is refurbishing the former 140-room Ritz-Carton Hotel in Cross Street.
The resurgence has helped boost sales in Oceania Property Group‘s boutique block of apartments The Bay Residences, located in the heart of the village.
Marketed through CBRE, just six apartments remain in The Bay Residences which is scheduled for completion by the year’s end.
The low-rise development in tree-lined Bay Street, Double Bay’s most desirable boulevard, is ringed by exclusive retailers including Leona Edmiston, Carla Zampatti, Max & Co., and Casonovas, and funky restaurants Mrs Sippy, Limoncelo, Pelicano and Niji.
The Bay Residences will also incorporate retail space with two large retail stores on ground level.
Nico Tjen, the developer of The Bay Residences, says the renewed retail activity has definitely helped attract a younger demographic to his apartments than is traditional for Double Bay.
“Most people think Double Bay real estate is prohibitively priced, but that has changed,” said Mr Tjen, who has completed more than 10 high-end developments since establishing Oceania Property in 1991.
“Property prices in Double Bay have not kept pace with other suburbs over the past decade, so it has become more affordable, comparatively speaking. This won’t last, as Double Bay is booming again.”
The Bay Residences has been designed by Kann Finch in keeping with Double Bay’s sophisticated European-style ambience. It combines classic stonework and Juliet balconies with crisp geometric facades of burnished steel and glass and a mansard roof.
Bay Residences viewed from Brooklyn Lane
The interior finishes are elegant and tasteful, and step up in opulence the higher you go. The penthouses are quality personified. Kitchens have dark, rich timber veneer panelling, stone benchtops, a full suite of premium Miele appliances, a walk-in pantry, and an integrated fridge, freezer and wine cabinet.
Bathrooms and ensuites comprise European-style stone-topped vanities in harmony with sculpted glass and frameless mirrors.
“To be able to buy anything in Double Bay at these prices is rare – and what’s even more remarkable is that the apartments are in vibrant Bay Street, the cherished heart of the village,” said Ben Stewart, a director of CBRE.
“An added bonus is that there are just 13 apartments in the development, with no costly communal facilities, so levies are very reasonable.” 

Saturday, 1 March 2014

VIC - Sunland launch new Melbourne townhouse development ‘The Gardens’

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VIC - Sunland launch new Melbourne townhouse development ‘The Gardens’

SEXTY_CHIRNSIDE_V01_scheme_ASunland Group has announced the unveiling of The Gardens in Chirnside Park, a 176-townhome enclave surrounding a central garden spine.
Designed by Sunland’s in-house design team, The Gardens marks a return to the developer’s roots as a design-led company.
Stage One was launched in early February and the 53 homes range from $395,000 for a two-bedroom, and $460,000 for a three bedroom.
Ranging from 82sqm to 203sqm internally, each home offers a private courtyard and views over the project’s central parkland spine.
The Gardens also incorporates a central facilities hub consisting of an outdoor swimming pool and barbeque facilities for the residents’ exclusive use.
Running along the project’s spine, a series of terraced gardens with retaining walls and sculptural landscaping will follow the contours of the sloping land to provide in essence a series of parklands offering a mix of passive relaxation space, grassed areas and lush pockets for the residents to enjoy.
The double storey homes themselves are imbued with a neutral yet dramatic interiors with high-gloss kitchen cabinetry, stone benchtops and bronze mirrored splash backs in the kitchens leading to bespoke hand-crafted vanities, free standing baths and large ceramic tiles in the bathrooms.
Sunland Group’s national sales manager, Craig Wright said the project signified a year of growth for the company as it gears up to release a host of new projects to the market over the next six months.
“The Gardens represents a true return to form for Sunland with our signature architectural style and focus on stunning yet sophisticated facilities and refined parklands.
“Paying homage to Sunland’s roots as a design-led developer with architecture at its core, the homes within this project are sculptural by design. Think white, clean lines with a combination of pitched and flat roofs and a very mod exterior aesthetic”.
“The Gardens marks a return to the Victorian marketplace for Sunland with two other projects set to launch in 2014. We definitely have a renewed focus on Melbourne as a key driver of growth for us and The Gardens is set to become one of our benchmark projects this year,” he said.