This time of year is a great opportunity to reflect on our wins, our challenges and our industry as a whole as we prepare for the year ahead. Reviewing the highlights over the past 12 months and looking forward to 2019, we’re inspired by the movements and trends we see shaping our industry.
Many of the exciting projects we’ve worked on this year are very much a part of these emerging trends driven by how we live and where we live…
1. Apartment living realised
2018 saw an increase in the apartment market with industry leader CoreLogic predicting this to grow another 3.5% next year. This increase in popularity has been steadily rising for some time, with the number of occupied apartments in Australia increasing by 78% in the last 25 years, according to ABS - clearly vertical living is a trend we’re willing to embrace.
This shift in where we live is particularly prevalent in our capital cities; in 2018 Gallagher Jeffs continued to provide project management services for a number of residential projects reflecting this growing trend, including Cahill Gardens in Sydney and Queens Place in Melbourne. With a combined project value of $843 million, both buildings will be mixed-use urban spaces incorporating both retail and residential apartment space
With more Australians living in apartments than ever before, the design of buildings and apartment features are constantly evolving to meet rising demand for this type of property.
Innovative design is at the heart of Melbourne’s Queens Place, with luxury amenities including four swimming pools, spas and gyms, a home theatre, libraries, a yoga studio and wine cellar. The Light House on Elizabeth Street in Melbourne is another good example of innovation in this space; earlier this year the project, which Gallagher Jeffs worked on with Hengyi and Sixth Grange, won the Best Residential High Rise Development at the Asia Pacific Property Awards in Bangkok.
2. From well to being
Another trend we’ve seen across the industry is the link between construction and health and wellbeing – influencing not only where we live, but how we live. Research released earlier this year by The Global Wellness Institute found that global wellness real estate and the communities sector is due to grow to US $180 billion by 2020, with Australia being the third largest market. Consumer demand is driving the trend for healthy and environmentally conscious homes and buildings, outstripping supply globally - not just in construction but also across design elements.
1 Malop Street in Geelong, now home to WorkSafe Victoria’s new headquarters, was one of the first Australian buildings to be awarded a WELL Certification at Platinum level. We were delighted to be part of the team developing this innovative building, with such an impressive marker of sustainability. The certification demonstrates how the building contributes to the overall health and wellbeing of both the occupants and the environment, based on the assessment of seven elements: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. Throughout the project design and development, minimising environmental impacts was a priority for the team.
The focus on delivering an improved environment isn’t just a trend within the residential industry; The Primrose Potter Australian Ballet upgrade included new purpose-built medical and therapy facilities. The project was particularly complex, with our team working to redevelop the space while the Ballet and other building tenants were in occupation, meaning an intricate delivery program needed to be implemented.
3. The Room Boom
The trend for investment in the hotel industry continues to grow in 2018. The JLL Hotel Investment Outlook report stated that the level of fundraising activity was at the highest seen in any cycle earlier in the year. Coupled with the increased RevPAR (revenue per available room), which is expected to continue to rise with Deloitte Access Economic projecting growth of 3.1% by 2019, it is clear that 2018 has been a strong year for accommodation.We were delighted to work on a number of exciting hospitality projects over the past year, including completing another refurbishment of the Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park, valued at $2.5 million.
In a continued collaboration with the luxury hotel, this year’s work involved a contemporary makeover of the Grand Ballroom, Hyde Park Function Room, Phillip Meeting Room and additional pre-function areas to provide business event attendees with truly innovative spaces.
This project followed previous works that included refurbishing guest rooms, corridors, porte-cochere, lobby, public restrooms as well as the Sheraton Club and Sheraton Fitness, seeing a total project value of around $45 million.