New Development Adds A Touch Of Silk To Ascot: The Urban Developer

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It all began in 2015 with the acquisition of a number of different sites to create one large land parcel.

After consolidating the land, the joint venture between Ascot PCG Pty Ltd, Guavalime Pty Ltd and Geocal Constructions was ready to become a reality.

That reality was ‘Silk’.

Designed by Loucas Zahos, Silk is a four-storey, mixed-use development with elements of retail and residential woven into the same building. Consisting of 24 apartments and a ground-floor retail centre, Silk is located in Brisbane’s Ascot, on the corner of Racecourse Road and Beatrice Terrace.

With the project positioned on the corner of these two streets, the developers have opportunity to seamlessly blend Silk’s retail and residential elements while simultaneously keeping them in separate worlds.

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Guavalime Director Con Zahos said that the residential living will face towards Beatrice Terrace. Beatrice is a residential street and will help give the units a residential vibe, rather than facing into the world of retail. That is reserved for Silk’s ground floor, which has already been purchased for retail use and will face towards Racecourse Road and the elements of the suburb’s commercial precinct.

Ascot is one of the prime and exclusive suburbs of Brisbane, according to Mr Zahos.

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“We see a lot of potential in Racecourse Road,” he said. “You see developments like this on Oxford Street in Bulimba, or Melbourne Street in the West End, but nothing like this has ever occurred on Racecourse Road.”

He believes Ascot, and Racecourse Road, in fact precedes well-known areas like Bulimba in terms of destination and location, which helped convince the project team of the potential yet to be realised for a mixed-use/hybrid development.

Mr Zahos said Silk will be the epicentre of a street rejuvenation that will improve on Ascot’s already vibrant boulevard, which currently provides seven-day-a-week eating options amidst the lush Poinciana trees that line the street and combine with shady canopies to provide a haven for pavement dining.

Silk is ten minutes from Fortitude Valley and less than 15 minutes from the city centre, putting CBD offerings and nightlife within easy reach. Access to the airport, the Sunshine Coast and prestigious private and public schools are also direct.

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“Silk is targeted more to the owner-occupier,” Mr Zahos said.

“If you look across the road in Hamilton, there is a lot of investor product, so our product has been designed with larger apartments, high quality finishes, high ceilings, timber and plywood to create a high-end development.

“The benefit of Silk is it’s not a large development – there aren’t a lot of apartments (24). We see it as a boutique bespoke project.”

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It’s a project they want to see people living in, rather than investing in and never stepping foot inside. The way the place has been designed has been to accommodate living – the apartments are north-facing and there is a green internal courtyard in the centre of the complex.

“It’s all about amenity and creating a point of difference to other apartment complexes.”

The majority of apartments are 2-3 bedrooms, with a few one bedroom apartments also included.

Mr Zahos takes pride in Silk’s quest to offer a level quality domestic detailing to potential residents, rather than the typical approach to apartment construction. For example, the positioning of the apartments, which outline the perimeter of the building, creates the internal courtyard and “cross-flow ventilation” and removes the need for long corridors and feelings of “apartment stacking”.

Having the courtyard in the centre of the complex, with its lush greenery and tranquil feel, gives residents the opportunity to soak in the environmental ambience on their way in and out of the apartments, rather than the cold feeling of a lift-to-door layout.

Prices for Silk apartments range from $495,000 to $1,400,000. Armed with planning and building approval, Silk’s project team intends to commence construction in the second quarter of 2017. Completion is expected in mid 2018.

Josh Toner