During his 27 years at the helm of Mirvac Group, Robert Hamilton has seen it all, from the highs of the boom times to the lows of the recession, and survived.
He says "Mirvac has been able to maintain its position as one of the nation's top developers by identifying new trends in the property market and reacting to them".
The residential market is one of the most competitive property sectors in Australia and keeping up with changing trends is demanding. "The market is not forgiving and expects no less," says Robert Hamilton. "You have to give the buyers what they want."
So what are the latest trends in residential development? Hamilton believes that larger integrated communities where the developer has the opportunity to create a distinct environment are the way to go. "Through sensible design and by controlling the built form, you can provide a level of amenity to the buyer not present in the traditional, one-off development or subdivision," he says. "The planning of all components such as road patterns, the siting of buildings - to reduce overshadowing and to increase solar access and privacy - while incorporating community facilities results in a better overall urban environment and adds significant value for the purchaser. In the end it helps the buyer to not only protect their investment but to also increase their potential capital gains". Mirvac's first foray into this form of development was in 1989 with its highly successful Raleigh Park project in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. "At the time we were laughed at by many of the so-called property experts for our bullish purchase of the site," says Hamilton. "We were confident that the market was ready and that our concepts were unique and would work for the site. History now shows that Raleigh Park has not only delivered great results for the buyers but has been used as a model development across the country".
Mirvac then successfully imported this philosophy of Integrated Communities into Victoria with the Beacon Cove project at Port Melbourne. The outstanding success of Beacon Cove ignited a huge influx of new development that has essentially transformed the entire suburb of Port Melbourne, from a run-down industrial suburb to a thriving cosmopolitan area. Mirvac's latest success story, Newington, which will be accommodating athletes during the Sydney 2000 Olympics, is another that is being developed along similar lines. "We have taken Raleigh Park and Beacon Cove and refined the best planning principles of both projects to come up with a development that will set the trend for planned integrated communities well into the future," he says. With this in mind and for the astute buyer, where does Hamilton feel the next residential hot spots are going to occur? "Without a doubt the Docklands precinct on the Yarra River and the redevelopment of Walsh Bay on Sydney Harbour". Hamilton has backed his gut feelings in both these opportunities by taking large stakes in both projects.
"Mirvac's experience has proved that by combining good planning and design with a never to be repeated location is a formula for success," he says.
He adds that in all his years in property development he has not experienced two more exciting opportunities of creating something quite special. Hamilton is especially enthused about the prospects for Walsh Bay. "In Walsh Bay you have a waterfront area of Sydney that is relatively unknown with huge potential. The rejuvenation of the entire area is going to create a very unique and livable environment, one that the Sydney market has been waiting for". Hamilton believes its closeness to the city, good transport, and a vast range of arts and cultural facilities and its sheltered Sydney Harbour location is the answer. "I believe Walsh Bay will quickly become one of the most sought-after addresses in Sydney" Needless to say Walsh Bay is already proving popular with potential purchasers. "The idea of living on the Harbour has certainly captured the interest of the market, I have never experienced the level of inquiry for a development as we have for Walsh Bay," says Hamilton. "There is no better gauge to what the market is looking for than interest in a specific project. Here again is another example of seeing a need in the market and reacting to it."
The purpose of this database is to provide a full-text record of all articles that have appeared in the CDJ since February 1997. It is aimed to assist in the research and reference process. The database has a full-text index and will enable articles to be easily retrieved.It should be noted that information contained in this database is in pre-publication format only - IT IS NOT THE FINAL PRINTED VERSION OF THE CDJ - therefore there might be slight discrepancies between the contents of this database and the printed CDJ.
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