Double Bay, Australia: Open Air Cinema Part of Improvements Sending Property Values Skyrocketing

A large crowd gathered at 44 Clifton Rd, Clovelly last Saturday to see a three-bedroom semi go under the hammer. Before the auction, Stephen McMorrow of Ray White Double Bay said there had been strong interest in the property and 10 registered bidders showed interest on the day, with a young family placing the winning bid.

There are very few properties available in the immediate area and good prices just come down to low supply and high demand pushing prices up, he said. The property, which is minutes to Clovelly beach and the popular Clovelly Public School, features period finishes, a large rear yard, but has no parking.

The hammer fell at $1.34 million, $60,000 above the set reserve, however it last traded 10 years ago for $585,000 according to RP Data records. montre for bay street Double Bay could just as easily go by the name Development Bay due to the amount of residential and retail construction currently underway, or being considered, in the waterfront suburb.

According to Colliers International, a global real estate firm that also has its fingers in the Double Bay development pie, there is about $74 million of construction either planned or underway, including Colliers' latest local venture, Montre. Colliers International research analyst Mathew Tiller said the development spend is spread between $45 million worth of construction underway in Double Bay, and $29 million worth of planned projects.

A major project currently in concept stage is a $5 million redevelopment of the Double Bay Marina, the Double Bay Bowling Club will undergo $1.1 million in alterations and additions and a $2 million Open Air Cinema is currently in design phase. New South Head Rd will also undergo an extensive $595,000 upgrade to the streetscape, he said.

On top of these developments, the Woollahra City Council and other local businesses are investing in upgrading and improving the amenities within Double Bay over the coming years. The $50 million Montre redevelopment, to be located at 18 Bay St, will start early next year with an estimated completion date in 2011. There will be 656sq m of ground-floor retail space and eight luxury freehold apartments priced from about $3.5 million.

The next in a long line of Double Bay boutique developments will join the likes of the $150 million redevelopment of the former Sir Stamford Hotel on nearby Knox St, which is already in progress. However, not all multimillion dollar Double Bay developments are getting the green light, as seen in September when plans for the Ashington Group redevelopment of the former Ritz Carlton Hotel were refused by the Planning Minister.

But according to Pamela Medich, Colliers International retail executive, a local precedent has been set with the redevelopment of The Gallery and The Chancellor that have paved the way for successful mixed-use developments in the area, which combine luxury apartments above boutique ground-floor retail space.

The next opportunity to focus on attracting luxury global brands back to the tree-lined streets of Double Bay is Montre, which is set to become a premium shopping destination in itself, Ms Medich said.

Kirsten Craze


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