Fortitude Valley Project Delayed Until Next Cycle

Artist's impression

Property developer, GURNER™ has reaffirmed its commitment to Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley precinct, this week receiving a permit for its 1665sqm combined site located at 156 and 162 Alfred Street.

The site has been permitted for 184 apartments and ground floor retail, along with a luxury residents-only rooftop amenity featuring a pool, sundeck, private dining and extensive landscaped surrounds.

The striking 15-level building has been designed by long-time collaborator, Elenberg Fraser, who has created a concept inspired by the late Italian architect, Carlo Mollino, to mimic a ‘human form’.

GURNER™ Founder, Tim Gurner said the purchase 12 months ago was a long-term strategy due to the building’s existing long-term lease, acquiring the site to continue the developer’s regeneration of the area that is currently transforming into a world class location, led by GURNER™’s $600m FV precinct which sits opposite the site.

“This site represents a strategic hold for us as the current building is occupied with a long-term lease agreement in place delivering an attractive return, meaning we are in no rush to develop the site in the immediate future.

“Our strategy will be to wait for the perfect time to launch the project but in the meantime we now have everything approved and ready so we can act quickly when the timing is right,” he said.

“There is no doubt that the Brisbane market has slowed in recent months; developer funding challenges and increasing construction costs have made the environment increasingly difficult to get new projects off the ground in Brisbane but we are committed to Fortitude Valley and excited to launch this project in the next market cycle,” he said.

“Although funding for some developers has become more difficult to obtain in the current banking climate, we are still receiving strong support from the major banks so we are fortunate that this won’t cause delays to our projects.

“It is the escalation of construction prices in Brisbane in the past 12-18 months that will pose more of an issue; projects that weren’t fully pre-sold last year are now unviable given the recent spike in construction costs, which is incredibly short sighted as this will only hurt builders and trades in the following 12 – 36 months when there won’t be any new projects to commence construction,” he said.

The developer is no stranger to Fortitude Valley, having launched its landmark $600m three-tower FV project in late 2014, which subsequently sold all 900-plus apartments in a matter of months, commencing construction across the first two stages last year.

“We know through the incredible success of FV that when the market balances out again in terms of construction prices and funding, the demand for luxury apartments in this inner-suburban hot-spot is high.

“We’ve set the bar high with FV so we will look to emulate a similar theme of luxury and decadence while also creating something that’s different again with Alfred Street.

“We feel very confident about the future of Fortitude Valley and we want to be a big part of it rejuvenation just like Tim Forrester’s Aria Group is doing for South Brisbane.

GURNER™ acquired 162 Alfred Street on-market in 2015 and later 156 Alfred Street off market from a separate entity.

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