Two separate development projects in Melbourne’s East Brunswick have combined in order to collectively adopt the Nightingale model.
The Nightingale model cuts out the traditional developer, limiting investor profit margin in an architect-led model which seeks to transform the way urban housing is conceived, funded and designed.
It is designed to contribute to the local community through active street frontages, fine-grain and tactile pedestrian experience for passers-by and engagement with tenants who can provide “third spaces”.
Developer Lucent Capital is the first developer to have been licensed as a Nightingale housing provider.
The private developer has paired the Nightingale and Little Miller residential communities. Apartments at the Nightingale development in Brunswick have now all been allocated since the ballot launched in August.
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Lucent Capital managing director Panos Miltiadou said the project is the only one of its kind currently on the market in Brunswick East.
“We are totally committed to creating an intelligently-designed, environmentally sustainable community in East Brunswick.”
The AFR reported that by combining the projects for the purposes of bank funding, Lucent was able to get the overall profit margin lenders required to commit to financing – usually upwards of 20 per cent – up to the 17.5 per cent minimum required and ensure financing for the development.
“That allowed us to get our ‘normal’ profit margin,” Miltiadou told the Australian Financial Review.
“That mixed blend came in at 17.5 per cent. What that’s allowed us to do is create a bankable solution and to the same degree not create a 15 per cent profit, but more.”
While licensing the model to developers is scaleable for Nightingale it is still an adjustment for the developer; Miltiadou said Lucent made $1.2 million less than it otherwise would have made on a commercial project.
But what it did give is complete and utter certainty on sales.”
Little Miller offers 28 fully sustainable one, two and three-bedroom apartments over six-storeys plus basement car parking and storage.
Little Miller was designed in collaboration with ClarkeHopkinsClarke and Breathe Architecture, who delivered the interiors and have previously worked on other Nightingale projects. It is set to be one of the most sustainable residential developments in Victoria with a 7.5 star NatHERS energy rating, and will feature completely fossil-free building operations and a renewable embedded energy network supported by solar power.
Construction is expected to commence in February 2018, with a view for Little Miller’s owner-occupiers to move in from September 2019.