4th June, 2014
By Liz McLachlan
The Weekly Review – Melbourne Times Edition
Few opportunities remain to join the $215 million urban residential community that has risen from Brunswick East’s once derelict heritage Tip Top site 3.7 kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD.
The new community is just 50 meters from the buzz of Brunswick’s Lygon Street, with a string of hip eateries and shops around the corner – including 400 Gradi, where world champion pizza maker Johnny Di Francesco whirls his winning margheritas.
Developer Little Projects’ revitalisation of the prime 1.2-hectare site is nearly complete. Only a handful of the 403 apartments and lofts are still available and the final stage, an exclusive group of eight $1 million-plus townhouses, has just been released for sale.
Exciting contemporary architecture by Rothelowman is juxtaposed with restored art deco facades in six buildings set in landscaped lanes and courtyards, with two new laneways connecting Edward and Weston streets. Organic, curvaceous and interconnected building forms were inspired by baking and its natural ingredients.
Little Projects managing director Michael Fox conceived the concept for the site, which had been vacant for a decade. Fox says the Tip Top development is a great example of Little Projects’ strategy of securing premium city-fringe locations close to amenities and transport, and creating well-priced residences with high quality design and fit-outs.
“The completed buildings and urban scape are even better than the renders we created five years ago to showcase the designs. We have delivered a very stylish and liveable new community for Brunswick East,” Fox says. “We deliver excellent designs where people want to live.”
The development comprises six sections named for the site’s heritage – Stables, Seeds, Silo, Rye Lofts, Grain and Malt townhouses. Each building has a unique aspect and street address, and many upper-level residences have city views. The Stables and Rye Lofts have retained elements of the site’s art deco architecture.
A handful of apartments are available in the four-level, 78-apartments Seeds building, which extends from Edward Street to Weston Street, where a ground-level café is set to open. Local parents will appreciate the 92-place childcare centre, The Learning Sanctuary, about to open on the upper level of Seeds, with an outdoor play space. The centre has its own entrance and parking for drop-offs and pick-ups.
The available apartments have two bedrooms and one or two bathrooms, and private courtyards or balconies.
The apartments are generously sized with internal areas of 68 square meters or more, with full-height and full-width sliding doors to external areas of 13 to 19 square meters.
Price start at $587,000 for a two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment and from $601,000 for two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Flooring in the open-plan living, dining and kitchen zone is in America oak, with carpet in bedrooms and full-height tiling in the bathrooms and en suites. The interiors have a warm, neutral palette and well-considered storage solutions that include double build-in wardrobes in each bedroom. There’s a television alcove in most living areas, creating a more intimate zone in the large space.
In the kitchen, stone benchtops have mirrored splashbacks and there are island benches, soft-close joinery, integrated sinks and stainless-steel Smeg cooktops, underbench ovens, rangehoods and dishwashers. The bathrooms have slimline wall tiling with a mix of open and closed shelving above and below the stone-topped vanity. There’s a European laundry in the main bathroom and reverse cycle air-conditioning in the living area.
The development’s six-star energy rating, solar panels for common-area lighting, racks for more than 250 bicycles and drought-tolerant plants.
Residents of Brunswick East’s new village will be a 15-minute cycle, 16-minute tram ride or 45-minute walk to the CBD that is 3.7 kilometres down Lygon Street. The new community is in Brunswick East’s chic heartland of hip and eclectic cafes, bars and galleries, but is also close to parklands. The tram stop is 50 meters away. Around the corner are supermarkets, newsagents, funky eateries and boutiques, including Jimmi Jamz and Teta Mona. Cycling and walking trails at Merri Creek are six minutes by bike and Edinburgh Gardens and royal Park are also nearby.