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Collingwood's Yorkshire Brewery plays trump card: spill-over space for guests

Martin Strode came up with the idea to give Yorkshire Brewery the edge.

Martin Strode came up with the idea to give Yorkshire Brewery the edge. Photo: Ken Irwin

First it was guest parking spots. Then swimming pools, gyms, tennis courts, private dining rooms, libraries and concierges. Even private parks and gardens.

Now guest apartments have emerged as the bolt-on extra apartment buyers should look for.

The idea came to developer Martin Strode from SMA Projects as he contemplated his large 358-apartment and townhouse development at Collingwood's Yorkshire Brewery site.

''I was looking for an edge, and it just came to me,'' he said.

The two guest apartments, a one and two-bedder, will only be available to friends and family of residents. Guests will be charged $90-$120 a night to cover cleaning and utilities costs, and the apartments will only be available for short-term bookings - not a month at a time.

The share apartments are a step up from share cars or parking spots, and Mr Strode said he was unaware of anything similar in Melbourne. He said the developer would own the two apartments and usage charges would not be added to body corporate fees.

The heritage site includes a six-storey brew tower - the tallest building in Melbourne for a decade in the late 19th century. The tower will be renovated to include new ''loft'' apartments. Designed by Hayball architects, the development is on the scale of a small village, with its own piazza and shops. It is not without controversy.

While the site had been vacant since 1996, Yarra Council was not impressed with the impact the development plan would have on the site's heritage value.

In 2012 then mayor Geoff Barbour said the 17-storey tower would ''diminish the significance of the iconic brew tower and dominate Collingwood's skyline''.

24 comments

  • The apartment phenomenon. Watch the add on costs folks, once you've signed the bottom line you'll lose control of these costs, you will TOTALLY lose control of your finances. Be very careful.

    Commenter
    Neil (not on radio) Mitchell
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    April 15, 2014, 8:27AM
    • @mitchell

      Stop the fear mongering mate. As stated, owned by the developer, no cost to the owners corp.

      As a chairman of my own owners corp, i can tell you we work hard to contain and minimise costs and return value to lot owners.

      Its up to residents to ensure this occurs.

      A well managed owners corp is fantastic to all that live in an estate or highrise. If you arent happy, dont vote to return them at the agm.

      Simple.

      Commenter
      The Sky
      Location
      Isnt falling
      Date and time
      April 15, 2014, 9:40AM
    • This is a highly likely outcome for those people that don't read the contract.
      Nothings hidden mate, except by the looks of it, your capacity to properly read the document outlining the details of the purchase.
      If it is too hard to understand or you don't have the mental dexterity to do it, then you should get someone independent, like an independent architect or advisory body to help explain it to you.

      Commenter
      Padrino
      Location
      Ellivarray
      Date and time
      April 15, 2014, 9:50AM
    • The Sky. Pools aren't free and need maintaining, concierges aren't free and work 24 hours a day, gyms cost money and need maintaining/renovation, security isn't free, lifts need expensive maintenance, building exteriors with their difficult access need continual cleaning and maintenance, some buildings are so poorly constructed they require very expensive repairs, as they age beyond the warranty period they will further deteriorate, buildings need continual cleaning of common areas. The point I was making was not the management of the owners corporation but people unwittingly committing themselves to ongoing and escalating costs by purchasing apartments that have a sting in the long term tail. The glossy brochures and bait pricing of some "dog boxes" is the hook, wait till some of these people start getting reeled in with the ongoing costs. Owners corps can only economise with what they are handed, there are many things they have no control over. How for example do you deal with Chinese apartment owners who don't want maintenance done and can't be contacted, apartments used as mass student accommodation, etc. These things are real. Scare mongering! I've never been accused of that, alerting the unaware to facts, that's something else.

      Commenter
      Neil (not on radio) Mitchell
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      April 15, 2014, 10:55AM
  • Brilliant idea! My in-laws overseas have guest apartments in their block, and it means we've got somewhere to stay when we visit without five of us having to pile into their flat or spend extortionate amounts to stay in a hotel. While we're near them and it's easy to spend time with them, we have our own space - as do they. Basically it does away with having to buy a bigger apartment for the 'spare room' in case someone comes to stay - which, let's face it, isn't that often.

    Commenter
    Lenny
    Location
    Syds
    Date and time
    April 15, 2014, 8:58AM
    • Why not?
      On the other issue, why was it approved if Council didn't like it.

      Commenter
      Christopher
      Location
      Watershipdownunder
      Date and time
      April 15, 2014, 9:20AM
    • Christopher, as it says on the Yarra council website, and like many many developments being approved in Yarra of late, "VCAT set Council's decision aside and ordered a planning permit to be issued on 27 March 2013". You can read all about it here: http://www.yarracity.vic.gov.au/Planning--Building/Major-developments/Former-Yorkshire-Brewery-site-1-21-Robert-St-Collingwood/

      Commenter
      Bilby
      Location
      Fitzroy
      Date and time
      April 15, 2014, 1:33PM
  • guest apartments, like guest parking, will be abused by others to the nth degree. no thanks.

    Commenter
    man cuddles
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    April 15, 2014, 9:17AM
    • Darn fine idea. My wife and I used to have a small apartment near circular quay in Sydney and were able to rent other apartments in the building for when we had visitors. It was brilliant having friends and family close by but still having our privacy in the morning or evening. This would definitely be a strong selling point for me!

      Commenter
      Rhysd
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      April 15, 2014, 9:21AM
      • Thousands of homeless people in Melbourne; but good to see that that fact doesn't get in the way of a good "some well off people can access an optional spare room sometimes" story.

        Commenter
        Sam
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        April 15, 2014, 9:31AM

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