Ecco Apartments & 70-78 Victoria St, West End

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Bekaa Group last year submitted a DA to build an eight storey residential building on Kurilpa Street, West End known as Ecco Apartments. The project is now under construction and will comprise of 47 units. The building also includes a rooftop pool and recreational deck.

Dwelling breakdown below:

  • 8 – 1 bedroom
  • 6 – 1 bedroom + Study
  • 32 – 2 bedroom
  • 1 – 3 bedroom

According to the developer, settlement will be for around April 2013. A new council laneway linking Kurilpa to Victoria streets will also be constructed as part of this project. Bekaa Group are also planning to develop another residential development situated behind the Kurilpa Street project. 70-78 Victoria Street, is a similar project to 9 Kurilpa Street. The building is a 7 storey development housing 91 dwellings, a ground level cafe and 102 bicycle spaces.

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  • That is hidious. I wish Brisbane had more of a focus on style and less on speed when it comes to it’s growth. Make developers pay if their going to make something that is permanent. Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder, there is rigor and rules around aesthetics. This is worse than graffiti

  • Phil, I believe this development would end up turning out less hideous than the above render would suggest, although it is hard to imagine how some of these images could be used to sell anything decent.

  • I feel that the design is exactly what is needed in Queensland’s sub tropical environments. If anything, this design echos Torbreck’s 1960’s style in it’s built form. Although I feel the colours will date in time.

  • I think Ronnie has made a good start on a set of developments in the vincinty. Those future projects will either realise the value created in the neighbourhood from his earliest development, or not. Pretty good accountability for me.
    The laneway is commendable. However people use lanes to get somewhere. They are functional first and lively second. Its not apparent why BCC required this lane just set back so close from Montague Rd? Its should have been set into the middle of the block that would’ve given it a function-shorter trip times when moving across the very large block. Created a few corner sites, which are always strategic.

  • Unfortunately Kari, re comment #3, this construction is a blot on the landscape.
    The render looks beautiful in comparison to the building and that is really saying something.
    If only the BCC took a longer term view of what these developments are doing to to face of Brisbane prior to giving approval..
    West End and its current and future developments present an opportunity to create something magnificent.
    The mock up of this building could have been done with a basic Leggo kit.
    This construction looks very low end, in a housing commision style.
    Take a look at Vancouver Canada and you can see how high density living can be made attractive.
    I am dreading seeing this second phase come to life, it is horid.

  • it may be hideous and bland but properties are so overpriced nowadays, for its price, beggers can’t be choosers.

    Re. the laneway not being built further from Montague Rd, the acquisition of lot 11 wasn’t successful, that’s why there’s only one side to build the laneway. Agreed that it’s not necessary though since Montague Rd is right there

    • “it may be hideous and bland but properties are so overpriced nowadays, for its price, beggers can’t be choosers.”

      That is a very slippery slope that I fear we are already on given the lack of architectural effort on this building.
      If the project cost had gone up by 15% and as a result it didnt look so Housing Commission it would still have been in the affordable range for most people wanting urban dwellings.
      The 47 beggers that buy into it is one thing but what about the thousands of Brisbanites that will have to look at it for at least the next 40 years and it is never going to look any better than it does right now!
      Wake up BCC!!!

  • 15% of lets say, $500,000, which is below the median price of these apartments, is $75,000. Do you know how much is $75,000 is? And do you think developer won’t put up a profit margin on that 15% they spent on higher profile architect to design a designers apartment?

    Can’t have everything in life, can you? And talk is cheap, mate, of course everyone wanted their belongings to look good but there are other priorities in life apart from paying a premium on looks.

    As a comparison, I remember when I was much younger and taking a piss at cheap car modifications that looked absolutely hideous! But when it comes to my own car, I was limited in budget and have priorities on what’s going on in the hood, so I ate my own words and did some of those hideous but practical mods.

    I did ended up purchasing one of this apartments for its price,location and its age. If I were to prioritise looks, something else has to go. I’m not offended by anyone calling it ugly or whatsoever, I’m just posting my reply because I think your comment is rather naive.

    • Vinnie, you might be right, I might have missed something, naive? No.
      The Leggo block architecture of this buildings exterior is plain ugly.
      A buildings appearance will impact Its value moving forward so a little more spent or borrowed at the start can reflect a better return in the end.
      The land west of Montague St that is now being used for future residential development is probably some of the best land geographically that is available this close to the CBD other than its high flood risk.
      When you build concrete boxes like ECCO on that land with a value proposition that is all about the price you are cheating the community.
      That thing will be part of the skyline for many decades to come, long after the cheap selling price has been long forgotten.
      You make an analogy to car modifications that I admit not to understand.
      However if what you are saying is that you can buy the cheapest car and that its low price represents value, I think it might be you who has missed the point.
      Value is remembered long after price is forgotten and that buildings tilt slab sided ugliness will be remembered for a very long time.

  • Apologies for using car mods as an analogy. It’s just confusing you and making you misinterpreting my statement. In no way, I’m saying low price represents value. I’m talking about affordability.

    Put it that way, only a few months ago, I came across the news of a $4M home sold for $1M in an auction, is that value for money? Hell yea! Can I afford it? No. What I’m paying for ECCO is just it’s age and location, nothing else, that’s all I can afford.

    I also partially disagree with your statement regarding the looks of the building affecting the price. Initial cost and short term price will be higher with designer apartments but the real value to a home is the land and location. Land is out of question for ECCO since it’s divided among 47 owners; location, is the real value of ECCO due to its proximity to CBD, its community and the proximity to the best public school in Brisbane, Brisbane State High.

    Every other factors will depreciate over time, regardless of how good the facilities or structures are, wear and tear will depreciate its value. No matter how beautiful it looks, it will go out of fashion within 10 years, when it’s not in fashion, demand will drop and so is the value.

    It works for those who only wants to pay for the location but not on the premium looks.

    • Vinnie, my original observations and comments regarding this project are not aimed at the perception of value that the 47 owners may or may not experience.
      My comments relate to the rest of the people of West End and Brisbane who will need to have that cube as a part of its skyline for the next 50 years.
      I said previously that this land west of Montague St that is now being converted from commercial/industrial to residential is some of the best land available close to the CBD.
      What is created there will be multi level projects that impact the entire community by the view that they create.
      Housing affordability is a community issue as well but the BCC should be making sure that when a project ticks the affordability box that we are not left with massive cubes of concrete that actually diminish the value of the community.
      I hope that you enjoy living in this community and that you then also want to ensure that it remains special and not a future joke.

  • Actually, I thought it was not too bad! Certainly better than some of the blocks in Melbourne, not to mention Singapore where I originally hail from!.

    The problem I think stems from the height restriction. It’s much easier to make a tall slender tower look good. And I heard (but haven’t verified) the quality inside is pretty good.

    Great location, large units, great roof deck, and good price: ok, it’s not the Mona Lisa but you can’t have everything!

    • LKT, I do guess that it is about perspective.
      West End Isn’t Singapore or Melbourne, it is a blank canvas ready to be developed into the future of one of Brisbane’s best residential hubs.
      I have no question about the floor space or the interior finishes as they only benefit the very small number of people who will ever live there, my offence is taken with the totally unimaginative and low budget appearance that the rest of West End and its visitors have to look at for the next 50 years.
      If you have to develop an old wool store or warehouse and turn it into apartments then you are stuck with what you have.
      This developer has taken a shoe box, painted windows on its exterior and the BCC has signed off on it.
      West end presents an opportunity for great things and this project doesn’t fit that description.

  • The final “Housing commission” touches have been completed on this BLOCK as the new tenants decorate the balcony railings with their drying laundry.
    What a piece of art as one drives down Kurilpa street to see fluro workwear and bedding hanging out.

  • Ab i think u need to stop picking at things, i think there a thousand worse things to look at in westend then this building. Commision housing is a bit extreme for your description, if people want to hang a bedsheet on there balcony they can because its there a apartment and its with in there right to do so. The internal finishes are quiet nice, an the observation deck, rooftop pool, sauna and gym will not be found in comission house project.

    You need to get of your high horse, have your opinion but be humble about it.

  • FIrstly, I would like to say I am a Brisbane girl born and bred and currently reside in West End and have for some time. I am also a Social Planner so might have some clue what I am talking about.

    Commission housing and ugly are outrageous emotive and highly subjective statements … sensationalist to boot if not plain ridiculous. I respect your view but please keep them rational.

    I love West End which is why I choose to live here and choose to remain living here. However, West End is full of some not so great aspects. I welcome the developments, this and ones like it. There, from my knowledge of proposed developments, is a good mix of size and styles of living. There are also a range of price points which is important if West End is to remain diverse. Thankfully they have limited the medium and high density living allowing West End to keep it’s old world charm.

    West End is changing so time to embrace it. I remember people making the same statements about South Bank and yet now who can imagine Brisbane without it! Not to mention it is what Brisbane is famous for.

  • Yes I respect AKWENDER MAY 21, 2014 views, but unlike her views mine is based on rational thoughts and actually getting into the community to see what is around the area.

    As how can a Social Planner who supposed to achieve best result for all parties involved, embrace West End changing for the worse especially rentals are getting higher, when there is money to be made Council WON’T limited the medium and high density living, very poor planning of how to move all those extra people around etc?

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