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Democratising the rooftops as high-rise penthouses become passé
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The rooftop of early apartment complexes were once home to a simple dreary washing line, but now what’s on the rooftop is almost as important as what is in the newly completed apartment.
All residents in many new high rises are entitled to access rooftops in a trend towards democratisation of the previously sealed off upper levels.
Central South Yarra (pictured above) – a $220 million 30-storey development by Little Projects in South Yarra – is among four apartment complexes that incorporate resort-style resident rooftop access.
The large landscaped outdoor sky terrace is 30 storeys up, offering residents and their guests a 360-degree view across Melbourne.
The rooftop includes an inside dining room on a first-in, first served basis with a 10-seater dining table and kitchen. There's also a lounge, pool and a ‘wellbeing zone’ with fitness equipment.
Michael Fox, managing director of Little Property Group, says the rooftop trend stems from tenants, and their landlord investors, seeking low-maintenance recreational living options.
“They want to enjoy the outdoor scenario,” says Fox.
Fox says the additional recreation space adds to the value of all apartments, despite the loss of revenue from sale of the top floor or rooftop.
“Essentially, it’s an extension of their apartment. Residents are happy to live in smaller spaces but have other facilities at their fingertips so they can entertain their guests in an open and unique environment.”
“The philosophy behind it all is offering purchases lifestyle benefits,” says Fox.
The nearby Yarra House (pictured above) in South Yarra is a boutique apartment development with a “members-only” 15-metre rooftop lap pool, gym and landscaped garden on level 26.
It offers views of the surrounds of the historic Melbourne High School, the city skyline and the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Montrose (pictured above) in North Sydney comprises of 104 apartments over 10 levels with occupants having access to a rooftop cinema.
Curtis Field, director of project marketing at Colliers International, which is marking Montrose, tells Property Observer a rooftop cinema is fairly unusual for an apartment project in Sydney, with the trend starting in Melbourne's entertainment district retail terraces.
He says the cinema was included in the design to appeal to younger couples and singles who are expected to show interest in Montrose, and he says it will “add some vibrancy” to the project.
The cinema is made to feel like a home cinema and can be booked through the body corporate.
Field says apartments are getting smaller and therefore residents are use the rooftops as common areas for entertaining.
“It offers added value of views and amenities that they [residents] don’t have to pay for.”
Montrose is almost 50% sold.
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