Subiaco developer guns for WA’s most expensive ever apartment sale

Source: WA Today

The developer of the Subiaco pavilion markets site has released further details of pre-sales and design at the landmark location, including flagging a potential sale of two whole floors for a $34 million penthouse.

At an industry lunch about the state of Subiaco hosted by the Urban Development Institute of WA on Friday, the audience got a sneak peak of the apartments and heard from Perth MP John Carey about a $70 million commitment to demolish the old Princess Margaret Hospital and transfer the site ahead of the Subi East redevelopment.

Blackburne director Paul Blackburne revealed a marketing video for the Subiaco One markets site development, to be launched October 26.

He said the marketing team had been calling prospective buyers who missed out on previous projects and had secured 1000 expressions of interest. Subiaco One was selling $10 million a week and he expected $200 million in signed contracts before construction began around March-May 2020.

The buildings comprising the development would each have their own character: the 30-apartment corner building, Rokeby, would be a more trendy, contemporary style, 100-apartment Roberts would be more traditional and the 120-apartment Seddon would be resort-style.

Some had views over Lake Monger, Kings Park and over the city to the Perth Hills. A penthouse in the Roberts building had already sold for $2 million and a buyer had expressed interest in putting together two levels for $34 million, which if confirmed would be WA’s most expensive apartment sale.

Yet most apartments were set at competitive price points below nearby competitors, he said, and it was this that had cut-through in Perth’s tough market conditions.

Previous proponents for the site had not been able to make a development viable at 16 storeys, he said.

Blackburne had to thin down the building and give the apartments a lot more room.

They had also had to double the number of car bays, and give every apartment two bays, “unprecedented for Perth apartments”.

“While it was counter-intuitive, you needed to sell some off the plan, and people in Perth want two car bays side by side,” he said.

“The only way to make it go somewhere was to give it that extra height … eight more storeys on the back corner.

“We also reduced the number of apartments from 299 to 240 and doubled their size.

“The pricing is 10 per cent below the products a kilometre around.

“The only reason we could do that is because of the extra height … even given that, we are going to have to work pretty hard in this market.”

The markets site would have 90 pop-up stalls on weekends and would feature a food hall, pocket park and laneways with an aim to bring 5000 visitors into Subiaco each weekend day, half of them coming by train.

“Subiaco has a huge demand for that market experience, buskers and that affordable shopping … there are some really nice curated markets around the world, that is what we are doing,” Mr Blackburne said.

“We have permanent smaller shops and restaurants with three-storey high ceilings but the key will be these pop up markets.”

The crowd also heard from Subiaco Mayor Penny Taylor, who stressed that the city was “open for business” and that on weekends and after hours it was now completely free to park in council car parks, with an hour’s free ticket parking also available during the day.

Principal of the new Bob Hawke high school John Burke spoke briefly, confirming there were 224 year 7s starting high school on the site next year.

John Carey, Parliamentary Secretary to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti, in addition to confirming more than $59 million funding for the demolition of PMH and further funding for the site transfer, also confirmed the education department was looking into an additional primary school in the area to cater for demand.