Having recently interviewed one of the lead real-estate agents from Independent Property Group, who is selling the multi-property Development, Kingsborough, at Kingston Foreshore – I came away pondering whether this development was really that different and leading the way in terms of design and innovation.
There is no doubting that the Kingsborough development (a large development block at Kingston Foreshore) is, at the very least, different.
For a start, the developer and builder, Construction Control, have engaged three different architects, to design the buildings: COX Architecture Studio, Nathan Gibson Judd Architect and Kasparek Architects. Not exactly a cost-saving exercise, to say the least.
Each of these architects have come up with totally different concepts for their buildings. Kingsborough certainly doesn’t look like a 1960s-high-rise public housing development.
Kingsborough, with eight different buildings, ranging from 1 – 4-bedroom apartments, terraces and warehouse style living, will give more of an ambiance of living in a place like, well in my opinion, Greenwich Village … with people living and working in the same space, including shops, parks, outdoor ping-pong tables, solar panels on all the roofs and charging stations for electric cars …
But let’s not lose my scepticism that quickly.
Being a long-term Canberran, and, for a decade, a political advisor on ‘the Hill’, I watched with interest the growth and popularity of Kingston. For years, I affectionately called the pre-Kingston Foreshore developments a ‘yuppieville’.
The place was packed out with apartments for Canberra’s white-collar transient workforce. The FIFO (fly in fly out) crowd of public servants and political apparatchiks that served out their hardship posting (Canberra) by working long hours, partying in Manuka and Kingston and crashing in their Government funded, shoe-box apartments in Kingston.
But, with the opening up of Kingston Foreshore and the developments on the lakefront, Canberrans now have our own little ‘Darling Harbour’. Waterfront apartment living and alfresco dining by the water, are now a ‘thing’ in the world’s best ‘little capital’…
So, with an open mind, I asked Aaron Lewis, Senior Sales Consultant for Independent Property Group, why Kingsborough wasn’t just a continuation of the developments that have been taking place in and around the Kingston Foreshore.
“It’s not just another block of apartments – it’s a range of different buildings surrounding ‘the village’ which is the heart of the development,” Aaron explained.
“The developer could have made it a lot denser, but decided to provide lots of open space.
The village is a considerably large area, spanning approximately 150 metres long, for the residents and surrounding neighbours to work, rest and play.”
So, will Kingsborough be like a retirement village? Not according to Aaron. He says that there will be a few empty nesters, but that this is the smallest demographic.
“Some ‘empty nesters’ are looking at the larger apartments, but most buyers are young couples with up to three kids.”
According to Aaron, the most unique development is the ‘warehouse’ apartments, the first of its kind to be offered in Canberra.
“These are industrial with lots of concrete and steel. Basically, it’s like ‘The Block’. You can do what you want internally, such as putting up walls, design your own wet areas or choose your own colour scheme.
“Most people that have bought units at the ‘warehouse’ aren’t tradies. They are buyers with vision and creativity.
“It’s like building your own house, but on a smaller scale and only having to pay for the internals,” Aaron explained.
But, unfortunately, the current stock of ‘warehouse’ apartments have sold out – but there may be more. Stay posted.
Aaron also says that the developer understands that most of the buyers intend to live in the properties.
“The developer has allowed a lot of buyers to make many changes. This has created more work for the developer, but they understand that people don’t want ‘just’ another unit, they want to personalise their property in a way that is important to them and suits their needs” Aaron outlined.
But Aaron says that the window is closing for major changes, as construction is finishing fast.
Well, I agree with Aaron that terrace living isn’t new, as it has already proven to be successful at Kingston Foreshore. What is different is that the developer has listened to, and is working with the buyers to meet their needs – before, during and after the construction of the buildings.
Oh, yeah, and there is the large space dedicated to ‘the village’, the Shophouses with living space, the NBN for those that work from home … oh and did I mention the wetlands and the big urban park the ACT Government has earmarked just over the road?
So, what is the ‘take home’ from this sceptical middle-aged Canberran? Don’t ask me, my wife makes all the major economic decisions in our household.
Have you heard of Kingsborough at Kingston Foreshore? Does living in a modern, high-density, village atmosphere, by the lake, appeal to you? Comment below.