After purchasing an inner city site that was under 200m2 in size, the property’s owner was uncertain what to do next. Would a residential conversion provide the home of his dreams or were there other options?

After purchasing an inner city site that was under 200m2 in size, the property’s owner was uncertain what to do next.

By today’s building standards, the existing building located on the site was old, tired and very plain. It was a 1914 terrace with common side walls with two neighbours. In addition, the local council had significant restrictions on the appearance of any new development.

The site’s inner city location also created problems in terms of accessibility because it was located on a busy, narrow inner city street.

Unsure of what to do next and unable to completely demolish the building and start again, the property’s owner asked Northcroft Australia to assess the viability of converting the multi-level, commercial terrace into a private residence. The figures didn’t stack up so Northcroft performed a second feasibility study considering ROI if it was partially rebuilt as a high-end, boutique office space. This showed a good return on investment so the planning began.

The transformation

The building was partially demolished with extreme care to ensure the common walls were properly supported and remained structurally sound.

Danish bricks were imported to reproduce a classic façade that complemented the surrounding, heritage buildings.

Levels 1-3 have floor to ceiling arched glass windows looking out onto the street front. To ensure each floor is well lit at the rear as well as the front, a glass light well was introduced, which extends from the level 5 rooftop tenancy all the way to the ground floor. The ground floor was designed to accommodate a restaurant tenancy with its own entrance and basement storage/prep area.

A lift and stairwell have also been included within this compact site’s footprint to improve accessibility.

Due to its busy location, the need to minimise disruption to neighbours and the feasibility of the project, it was important this conversion was handled quickly and delicately. Happily for everyone, this was certainly the case.

The results

The property’s owner was so impressed by the design and layout of the new building, he occupies one level of this new development for his own business operations. The remaining floors and restaurant were quickly leased and are generating ongoing revenue for the owner.

Without the assistance of Northcroft Australia, their thorough due diligent and the two feasibility studies exploring the best use of the site, the property owner may have sunk a great deal of money into a residential conversion that would have limited investment value. Instead, he is enjoying an ongoing income stream from a well-designed and highly desirable inner city commercial property.

Are you uncertain about the best use for your site? Contact Northcroft for a feasibility study to maximise your return on investment.