NORTH SHORE NOW LOOKING UPWARD

December 2014

Sydney’s north shore has traditionally been the most conservative region when it comes to buying new apartments off the plan, but with the first post-rezoning developments now finally being completed, there’s a real change in the air.

''There’s been a lot of resistance to density living but the mindset has now definitely changed,'' says Colliers selling agent Curtis Field.''The tide has finally turned.''

Tim McKibbin, chief executive of the Real Estate Institute of NSW, agrees. ''Although there has been some community resistance, I think that the style and quality that we’re now seeing has improved markedly,'' he says. The new projects across the north shore are feeding off the success of developments like Sakkara’s Emerant Lane in Lane Cove and Frasers Property’s Lorne in Killara.

The north shore’s next launch is set to be the $210 million Bay Pavilions for Lane Cove next Saturday, with the release of just over half the final total of 270 apartments over two of the planned five buildings.

On the waterfront between Burns Bay and the Lane Cove River, the one-, two- and three-bed apartments have been designed by architects Marchese Partners and will be developed by Piety Developments.

‘‘We’ve had 1500 inquiries already from people who’ve heard this is happening,’’ says Field, who’s now taking registrations of interest.

Further west on the north shore, at Ryde, the next stage of Frasers Property’s masterplanned community Putney Hill has launched. Called The Gardens, and designed by architects Cox Richardson, the six-level building of 63 units has landscaped gardens.

‘‘I think originally people in that market were reluctant to buy off the plan, particularly as they are a higher proportion of owner-occupiers,’’ says David Butt, sales director at Greencliff, who manages Putney Hill sales for Frasers.

Now, people understand they can buy off the plan without too much risk, if they buy through a reputable developer who can deliver what they’ve promised.

A third new development is closer in, at Milsons Point, with panoramic views of Lavender Bay, the Opera House and city skyline. On the site of an office block that will be demolished down to its slab and columns, the 18-level, 129-apartment building has been designed by architects SJB. It features wrap-around glass walls and wintergardens.

Chinese-backed developer Bridgehill says demand is already strong. ‘‘It will be a landmark for the architect, for us as the developers and for the people who buy into the building. It’s the best that the north shore can offer,’’ says Bridgehill managing director Yi Bin Xu.

CBRE agent Tim Rees says it’s rare to get a new offering on the north shore like that. ‘‘So when something like this comes up, close to everything, with views and of this quality, there’s a lot of demand.’’

Bay Pavilions, Burns Bay Road, Lane Cove, will have 34 one-beds (51-82sqm internally) from $540,000; 8 one-bed-plus-studies (57-63sqm) from $575,000; 94 two-beds (71-85sqm) from $655,000; 8 three-beds (87-97.5sqm) from $900,000; and 2 three-beds-plus-studies (154sqm) from $1.5 million. Completion intended November 2015. baypavilions.com.au, 1800 027 245.

Nothing but the north for this apartment-loving family

Only once did Drew and Justine Jones move from Sydney’s north shore – to spend three years on the south coast – but after returning, they can’t imagine leaving it again.

“It’s so close and convenient to everywhere, but there’s still a real village feel in many suburbs there,” says Drew Jones, 48, who works for Roads and Maritime Services. “And it’s so easy to travel to anywhere. There are ferries, trains, buses and good roads.”

Drew, and financial director Justine, 46, live with their three children, aged 10, seven and six, in an apartment in Kirribilli. “We do love apartment-living here,” says Drew. “We have a fabulous view, and you don’t have to worry about putting out the garbage and mowing lawns, so we can spend more time with the children.”

The pair are now selling a two-bedroom-plus-study apartment they have next door, right on the harbourfront in the art deco 21 Holbrook Avenue, Kirribilli. With stunning water views and a large balcony, it’s for auction next Saturday for more than $875,000, through Adrian Bridges of Belle Property Mosman, 0414 616 101. “The apartments are on a quiet cul-de-sac, so it’s safe for children to play out on the street, and there are quite a few kids living in apartments in the area too,” says Drew. “It’s perfect.”

Or try these:

The Gardens, Putney Hill, Ryde
This release marks the mid-way point of the 793-home community, set in a leafy green space yet still close to the shopping and cafes of Top Ryde. “The garden that adjoins it gives you the chance to sit on a bench and dangle your feet in water,” says David Butt. Remaining are 32 units: 26 two-beds (92.7-149.5sqm) from $645,000; and five three-beds (142-150.6sqm) priced from $1.03 million. Expected completion: late 2015. putneyhill.com.au, 1300 080 080.

Bridgehill Residences, Alfred Street, Milsons Point
This building will have floor-to-ceiling windows, ducted airconditioning and top finishes. On sale are five two-beds (81sqm plus 11sqm balcony) from $1.1 million; two three-beds (134sqm with 23sqm balcony) from $1.85 million; and a three-bed penthouse (240sqm plus 51sqm terrace) $6.4 million. Expected completion: early 2015. bridgehillresidences.com.au, 1800 207 177.