BY TESSA HAYWARD
Geelong Advertiser 11th March 2017
Geelong locals have jumped at the chance to buy luxury apartments in an inner-city $50 million private residential development.
More than 80 per cent of the 110 apartment development, on the site of the old St Mary's school, has sold since the grand opening in September last year.
G1 Apartments, a Sinclair Brook development, is the only one of its type in Geelong and the demand for that type of living is evident from the sales success.
Castran Projects director Lachlan Castran said the vast majority of buyers were from Geelong with only three or four Melbourne buyers.
"This building here was built for, bought by and designed by Geelong... the overwhelming majority of sales to date are all Geelong based," Mr Castran said.
Mal and Deb Stewart signed contracts for a rooftop terrace apartment on Wednesday.
The Geelong locals have been living in apartments for the last seven years after selling their home in Waurn Ponds.
"We like apartment living and buying off the plan seems the way to go because you get the opportunity to make some changes," Mr Stewart said.
They weren't looking to buy a new apartment but after walking past the site and learning about the development they were sold.
"We were originally going to buy two and make it into one but we changed our mind and went for a rooftop terrace," Mrs Stewart said.
"We had been looking to buy another apartment six months ago but gave up and then this came along."
Mr Stewart said the security and design of the building were what was so appealing about it and that the prices were very reasonable.
The majority of the apartments are priced from $295,000 to $795,000 with two exceptions that are up to $1.3 million.
Mr Castran said he thought Melbourne buyers would perceive Geelong as an investment opportunity as it was at a lower level in terms of entry price but Geelong locals beat them to it.
"By the time the Melbourne buying public caught onto us, a lot of the opportunity was gone," he said.
He also thought more first home buyers would be interested and while there is still a significant percentage of first home buyers the overwhelming percentage was for empty nesters.
The builder of G1 Apartments will be announced shortly with construction expected to start May/June for a completion date near Christmas, 2018.