A LIFE on the water has been one of the main drawcards of Blackburne’s Marina East development in Ascot, according to managing director Paul Blackburne, who said buyers liked the idea of being able to park their boat in the marina and cruise to the Swan Valley, Elizabeth Quay or Fremantle.
While a number of the company’s other developments have mainly attracted local buyers wanting to downsize and stay in their area, Marina East has had wider appeal.
“The unique thing about this development is it brings people from everywhere, water lovers and boat lovers, no matter what their age,” Mr Blackburne said.
“People from the western suburbs who thought they’d never move to the eastern suburbs have bought because of the marina and the high-end apartments on offer.”
Mr Blackburne said it was even possible to throw a line over some of the balconies and catch bream or mulloway from the river.
“I think it is the only absolute waterfront project that I’ve seen where the balconies are on the water,” he said.
“If you look at other developments there’s always either a road or a park in front, but I think this is really unique in that it’s on the marina, that’s something that has really appealed to people.”
Helping residents further enjoy the waterside lifestyle, the building has a watersports storage room where residents can store their fishing gear, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards.
The 91-apartment development is nearing completion, with buyers set to move in early next year.
Only a few apartments remain; Mr Blackburne said the project was 75 per cent sold with the rest expected to sell when the finished product launches in February 2020.
The majority of buyers have been owner-occupiers, predominantly baby boomers looking to right-size, with about 10 per cent families and 20 per cent investors.
Mr Blackburne said apartment living held a lot of appeal for the over-55 market, people with teenage children or children that had just left home who no longer wanted a large home.
“They don’t want to do the maintenance around the house and the garden, they want to have more freedom and travel more, they get more security in an apartment and it’s more affordable,” he said.
While there was a market for apartments, it was important to build the right product.
“There’s some areas of WA where the wrong product’s been built and there’s an excess of supply, but in general there’s a shortage of supply of larger, higher-end apartments in good locations,” Mr Blackburne said.
“We make sure we’ve got projects in areas where there is strong demand and low supply, such as One Subiaco, Essence in Claremont and here.”
“We start two new projects a year, of between 80 and 200 apartments, and we sell most before starting construction.
“The trick is also giving people value for money and quality, which is a tricky thing in development, building prices are very good at the moment so we’ve been able to keep the prices down and up the quality to a level you don’t get in a boom market.”
For details, visit www.marinaeast.com.au.