An elderly woman carrying three empty boxes took a breather at noon last Thursday while she was going down in one of the lifts of Paul Blackburne’s new tower of 236 ﬂats in Subiaco.
The woman, who said she was from West Perth, was moving into one of the apartments at One Subiaco.
“I had some last night,” the woman said, when asked if she would have champagne to toast her move into her new home.
A few minutes earlier Mr Blackburne said the woman and others in her age group were the main reason nearly all the apartments had been sold for a combined $300million.
“Most sold off the plan,” Mr Blackburne said.
“There’s a real shortage in Perth for larger high-end luxury apartments, particularly for baby boomers wanting to right- size.”
Mr Blackburne said the “vast majority” of buyers were baby boomers already living within two or three kilometres of the tower.
“Baby boomers have hit 75 (years old); they’re only just hit- ting the market,” he said.
“Generally the kids have left home; they’re a bit over the maintenance of the family home.”
Mr Blackburne said the average price paid at One Subiaco was $2million for a three-bedroom ﬂat.
He said some buyers had apartments worth between $100,000 to $500,000 more than what they paid for them about two years ago.
He said the increase more than offset any interest rate rises.
He said “signiﬁcant inhibitors” to people buying his ﬂats were stamp duty and other taxes.
He described the One Subiaco apartments as “affordable luxury”.
He showed reporters around one of the two remaining unsold apartments, which he described as penthouses.
The 23rd-ﬂoor apartment had a Beefeater barbecue and a Rhino bar fridge on the north-facing balcony.
Mr Blackburne said the two apartments were for sale for $5.5million and $3.9million.
The tower is on the site of the former Subiaco Pavilion Market, which closed in 2015 after 30 years (Farewell, fruit, veg and bargains, POST, July 25, 2015).
Mr Blackburne said his tower was a “catalyst for change”.
“(Subiaco) has become quite rundown since the football left,” he said.
“But almost all the vacant shops up Rokeby Road have been leased in the past year.”
But not all of the shops available to buy at One Subiaco had been sold.
He said an “international fresh food market” would open near his tower in three months.
“It will be a tribute to the old Subiaco Pavilion Markets,” he said.
“A Japanese restaurant will be opening on street level, as will a bistro tavern.
“It will become a new main meeting place for Subiaco.”
Mr Blackburne said ﬁve or six bench seats from Subiaco Oval would be installed around the One Subiaco site.