Blackburne scoops apartment awards

Source: Business News

Paul Blackburne was among the standouts at the recent Australian Apartment Advocacy awards.

Paul Blackburne has been recognised for his contribution to the apartment industry at the recent Australian Apartment Advocacy awards.

The Blackburne founder and managing director received the Apartment Sector Leading Light award at the event, and Blackburne’s $300 million project One Subiaco won the amenities and luxury apartment categories.

Mr Blackburne was credited for his willingness to take risk in pushing ahead with the project during a period of uncertainty.

Upon accepting the main award, he said the team around him was more deserving of the accolade than he was.

“There are a lot of good people and consultants internally and externally who make these projects a reality, so all I do is try and surround myself with people a lot smarter than me,” Mr Blackburne said.

“This award is really for all the architects, builders, development managers, admin, reception, all the people that help bring these projects together.”

Former Mayor of Subiaco Penny Taylor, who campaigned on the importance of developing the Pavilion Markets site where One Subiaco was eventually built, won the Civic Leadership award.


Ms Taylor, who was surprised at winning the award given she had not nominated for it, reflected on her experience supporting the One Subiaco project, when she faced a lot of community opposition.

“I did door knock before Paul bought the what is now One Subiaco when Mr (Andrew) Abercrombie and I was championing not having derelict buildings and looking at key sites in communities, near train stations, where you don’t just want to define it by the number of storeys, you want to define it by what it’s like for people to live there,” she said.

“Great places to live are a legacy and people talk about developers sometimes as people who do make money, so it is a little odd when you get a lot of negative flack as a politician when you’re trying to champion good things, because you aren’t making any money, whereas developers might be.”

Ms Taylor added that developers were the same as everyone else in that they wanted to create places they and communities could be proud of.

The state government’s Smith Street apartment project on the border of Perth and Highgate, constructed with timber, won the award for best affordable development.

Mount Lawley’s Clifton and Central apartment building, designed by MJA Studio and developed by Willing Property, won the boutique and heritage and community culture awards.

Fini Developments won the diversity in housing choice category for its 21 Henley Street project in Como and fini sustainability won the pioneering project award for Nightingale in Fremantle.

DevelopmentWA took away the precinct rejuvenation award for its work on Shenton Park’s Montario Quarter.

Richardson Strata took out two awards in the people’s choice category for Marina Edge and Freshwater apartment projects.

Perth co-living space The Switch won the innovation and technology award and St Quentin’s apartments in Claremont won the enduring category, while Myvista residential aged care in Mirrabooka won the ageing in place award.

Australian Apartment Advocacy founder Samantha Reece said the awards, in their third year running, showcased the courage of the industry to pursue projects in the inflationary environment.

“I have faith in the Perth apartment market,” she said.

“We advocate that apartments are and will become the desired housing option of choice and AAA will continue to lead changes in attitude in that realm.”

She said the fact that the awards, which recognised more than $1 billion of projects, had 16 categories, reflected the diversity of the sector.