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Urban discusses Surfers Paradise apartment block Chevron One with Bensons senior development manager Alberto Palombaro

Surfers Paradise apartment

Chevron One is the $230 million Surfers Paradise apartment block set to rise 40 levels on the Chevron Island’s Stanhill Drive.

Developed by Bensons Property Group, Chevron One will comprise 236 one, two and three bedroom apartments. Bensons collaborated with Marchese Partners in the sculptural design of the tower.

Urban sat down with Bensons Property Group senior development manager Alberto Palombaro to discuss Chevron One’s design and the 2021 apartment market.

Q: Have you seen an increased demand for high-end properties on the Gold Coast in recent months? If so, which aspects of Chevron One set the development apart from other properties on the market right now?

Since the start of the pandemic, our level of enquiry for high-end properties in the $2m+ range at Chevron One has really spiked, resulting in a handful of very large, high-end residences at Chevron One selling to local owner-occupiers. Buyers at this level expect quality fixtures, fittings and appliances plus the ability to customize the design where requested.
In terms of what sets Chevron One apart, I would say our level of quality and finish compared to the competition, our ‘never to be built out’ views, and of course the 2000sqm of amenity in the building – one of the largest amenity offerings of any new development on the Gold Coast.

Q. What do you perceive the top design trends to be for apartments in 2021 and how does Chevron One utilise these trends to elevate its design?

There’s no doubt that 2020 has been a year like no other. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned it’s this – there’s no place like home. Australians are spending more time there than ever before. It has become our happy place, a sanctuary to style our way, all to ourselves. This year also gave most of us a taste of what it’s like to really work from home – and it turns out we love it. We can expect to see a demand for new ways to integrate clever working areas into home designs that inspire creativity and opens the ability to work in sync with cooking and the kids. Less clutter, less to clean. We can see this change particularly in the kitchen, I think fewer materials, using the countertop as the backsplash for a more seamless design, and hidden or no hardware altogether. Anything that makes cleaning easier is a win-win.

As well as being aesthetically on-trend; functionality and liveability has been a key focus in the design of Chevron One. Indoor-outdoor living was always a key focus for our floor plans, meaning larger balconies that become an extension of your living and entertaining spaces. Paired with floor to ceiling windows and open plan design this has been a key drawcard for the project.

Q: As we know, the project’s kitchens are designed by Shannon Bennet, do you anticipate other residences to follow suit with kitchen designs by renowned chefs?
Yes, that has now been a trend for a few years and it’s only growing. Chefs have a passion for cooking, and they spend most of their time either in commercial kitchens (at work) or in residential kitchens (at home). They have very strong practical skills and the vision for step-by-step meal preparations. They have extended knowledge of state of the art appliances and what’s the best on the market.

Q: Could you please tell us a bit about the three design schemes? Where did you draw inspiration from?
All four schemes have been created to place value on instilling balance and calm in the living spaces. We have used soft, warm and comforting tones and textures using as much natural materials as possible. Attention to detail, the use of textures, beiges and browns, and inspirations from the beautiful island of Chevron is where we draw our inspiration from.

Q: What is your favourite feature of Chevron One’s design?
The wrap-around, curved balconies with glass balustrading allowing residents unobstructed views from their kitchen, all the way out to the Pacific Ocean, Nerang River, Broadwater and Gold Coast Hinterlands – a truly unique design element that not only looks stunning but maximises the views.

Q: What are some of your favourite amenities within walking distance from the development?
The recently completed HOTA is a great new addition to the local area and is only a 5-minute walk from Chevron One. Sunday’s at HOTA feature Farmers Markets, live music and kids’ activities, as well as monthly concerts and performances. The Thomas Drive retail strip has also come alive in recent years with great coffee, restaurants, and bars with more on the way.


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Controversial Burleigh Theatre Tower Wins Support


The Gold Coast City Council’s planning committee has voted four-three in favour of new plans for an apartment tower above the old Burleigh theatre and arcade.

Sydney-based developer Weiya Holdings amended the plans after receiving 86 submissions and a petition objecting to the development at 64 Goodin Terrace and 1823 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads.

The new plan, designed by Conrad Gargett, reduced the number of apartments by six to 30 with adjustable screens on the western façade as well as four commercial tenancies, a gym and podium-top pool.

The 14-storey tower will be called the De-Luxe Apartments after the mid-century De Luxe Theatre and Old Burleigh Arcade, which were incorporated into the design.


▲ The front and back of the 14-storey old Burleigh Theatre development by Sydney-based developer Weiya Holdings. 

Council officers said the adaptive reuse included several improvements to the heritage building but finishes and colours used on the theatre would have to be investigated.

“The proposed design retains the majority of the significant fabric at the front of the site,” the officers said.

However they suggested a few minor amendments to the plans including changes to the proposed shopfronts of the beachfront theatre.

Weiya purchased the 1667sq m site for $18.5 million midway through 2019 and lodged plans to develop the site a year later.

The majority of concerns about the application surrounded the heritage building and its lack of reference in the new design, however this was an intentional decision by the developer which was supported by the council.

The proposal is due to go before a full meeting of the council next week.

Meanwhile, the council is currently planning improvements to public space in Burleigh including adding trees, seating, a large mural and festoon lighting along James Street as well as moving pedestrian crossings.


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Dreamworld to build $75 million resort under new agreement


Dreamworld could soon have a $75 million resort and tourist park across the road in Coomera.

The company entered a non-binding agreement on Wednesday with accommodation developer Evolution Group to fund and build the resort on the land owned by the theme park’s parent company Ardent Leisure.

The hotel would include 240 four-star rooms, 40 bungalows and a five-star tourist park with 100 powered sites and restaurants, conference facilities, pools and a gymnasium.

Dreamworld Resort guests would also have offers to access the Dreamworld and WhiteWater World theme parks throughout their stay.

Dreamworld chief executive officer Greg Yong said the arrangement would boost tourism.

“This announcement is another positive step in the recovery of our parks post-COVID and will have a significant economic impact not only for Dreamworld, but also for the northern Gold Coast, one of Australia’s fastest-growing regional corridors,” he said.

“The project will create employment within the local community and contribute to the regeneration of tourism on the Gold Coast.

“The hotel and tourist park will complement Dreamworld as a premium entertainment destination and add a new level of convenience for guests who will have our theme park and water park on their accommodation’s doorstep.”

Queensland theme parks were forced to close in March last year because of the coronavirus pandemic and Dreamworld and WhiteWater World reopened in August, offering discounted tickets in an attempt to attract people in for the September school holidays.

Evolution Group boss John Robinson jnr said he looked forward to collaboratively delivering high-quality accommodation options for guests.

“The Evolution Group team is a family company providing over 2200 rooms around Australia through our resorts and accommodation houses,” he said.

“Having Australia’s favourite theme park on the doorstep of this development will certainly provide guests with action-packed getaways.”

Dreamworld and Evolution Group would work together to obtain planning approvals, while Ardent Leisure would explore options to maximise the value of its surplus land.


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Asking rents soar to record highs in coastal areas


Rents have soared to record levels in many coastal areas in response to shrinking supply and rising demand from tenants moving out of the big cities and into regional and warmer locations.

Asking rents for houses in the Gold Coast have surged 32 percent in the past 12 months to a record high, while units rose 16 per cent

In Port Macquarie, in NSW’s north coast, house rents jumped 19 per cent and units 22 per cent. In Coffs Harbour, house rents climbed 34 per cent and units by 14 per cent.

“I’ve just never seen these large rises before,” said Louis Christopher, SQM Research managing director.

“We thought the migration away from the CBDs would be reversed, but it looks like people continue to seek out bigger spaces in areas offering desirable lifestyles. We now know there won’t be a complete reversal of the trend away from the cities.”

High tenant demand has pushed vacancy rates to record lows in the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Port Macquarie, where it had fallen to 0.8 per cent, 0.9 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively.


The rental markets in the inner cities surrounding CBDs have also tightened as more renters move out from their shared rentals to live on their own, but the number of empty apartments in the Sydney and Melbourne CBDs have jumped higher again because of increasing supply after falling in the previous month.

Sydney’s vacancy rates dropped to 3.1 per cent in April, down from 4 per cent in March while Melbourne fell to 4 per cent from 4.4 per cent.

Vacancy rates in Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Darwin and Hobart remained below 1 per cent while Brisbane’s fell to 1.4 per cent.

Nationwide, the amount of empty rentals has fallen 8.3 per cent, squeezing vacancy rates to 1.9 per cent in April from 2.1 per cent in the previous month.

“The fall in vacancy rates is now encompassing the inner-suburban regions, which I believe is due to the falling number of occupants per dwelling, which is putting pressure on vacancies,” Mr Christopher said.

“The fall in national vacancies is surprising given there has been record first home buyer activity and strong dwelling completions relative to the population.”

The number of empty CBD apartments jumped 17 per cent in Sydney and rose 1 per cent in Melbourne, pushing vacancy rates up to 7.3 per cent and 8.3 per cent respectively.

“This is telling us that there is still a lack of interest in terms of moving back into the CBD,” Mr Christopher said.

“It looks like the vacancy rates are not going back to pre-COVID levels of around 4 per cent in the foreseeable future due to high levels of stock.



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