We’re in the throes of the multi-residential renaissance – but what is really driving buyer demand and design expectations in this space?
October 9th, 2018
Following the example of their father, Paul, who built some 200 prestige homes and developments in Australia’s New South Wales, brothers John and Allen Sammut co-founded Sammut Developments, specialising in upmarket residential developments including prestige apartments, luxury homes, townhouses and villas. Here we speak with Allen Sammut on the evolving nature of contemporary residential design and the multi-residential market in Australia.
In recent years we’ve seen developers work more closely with designers and the end client. How do you see this benefit high-end multi-residential projects?
Allen Sammut: We have always worked closely with our architects (Innovate Architects), who have helped us develop our luxury brand. As you move forward and complete a project, it’s the feedback from the buyer that is so valuable, and as the majority of our buyers are owner-occupiers it becomes even more relevant. They often look for an inclusion or comment on a layout to incorporate those changes in the future.
How would you characterise the increased demand for the type of high-end residential developments in which you specialise?
AS: We have seen demand increase for a number of years, however presently there is a lot of stock in the marketplace. The modern buyer is very savvy and looking for quality. You cannot take shortcuts, so you must provide them with not only a durable and stylish design, but also a practical layout with quality inclusions and finishes. Sammut Developments has a reputation for uncompromising quality and we will not stray from this formula.
And, in terms of the design process, what is unique about approaching a high-end multi-residential project?
AS: We have always worked closely with Innovate Architects with the mindset that quality should take precedence over quantity. Many developers make the mistake of trying to get as many units as they can on a site and, in so doing, they compromise the project’s layout or amenity. We have always strived to ensure that our apartments have all the inclusions that Sammut purchasers expect: larger floor plans, larger balconies, additional parking and ample storage. If this means you have fewer units on the site, so be it.
You’re currently working on two very high-end multi-residential projects – Banc and Loft – and they are already generating a lot of interest. In your opinion, what makes these two developments stand out in an oversaturated market?
AS: We are passionate about the Sutherland Shire where these two developments are located. As such, Banc and Loft are not only excellent residential environments that occupants will love and be proud to live within, but they will also improve the streetscape in which they are developed. John and I believe that Banc (Cronulla) and Loft (Sutherland) are unique in that they will set a new standard for others to follow, just as Breeze (Cronulla) did previously. Sammut Developments is just about to launch two new exciting developments, again lifting the benchmark in quality, design and inclusions both in Sutherland and Cronulla.
And, where do you see the future of multi-residential design in Australia heading?
AS: It’s often a big life-change moving into an apartment and if you are going to take the plunge you want to know that the developer held your needs at the forefront of the design intent. As our population increases, it will be incumbent upon developers to harness apartment living to contain urban sprawl. Developers – like ourselves – need to offer occupants more to ensure that the Australian way of life and living is maintained by offering well-appointed apartments, not just houses.
Photography courtesy of Sammut Developments and Innovate Architects
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