Many Canberrans have grown up with big back yards but now don’t want the burden of maintenance.
In any residential high-rise offering there can only ever be a limited number of penthouses, and, in highly anticipated developments like Geocon’s Metropol, they get snapped up in record time.
But the creatives behind this project in Canberra’s city centre had an innovative solution to help quench buyer appetite for rooftop living: a shared residents’ penthouse.
Set on level eight, the penthouse is available for residents to hire if they feel like entertaining guests, hosting family for a private function or celebrating a special occasion. It comes with a chef-inspired kitchen, high-tech entertainment facilities and an infinity pool with city outlooks across the lake.
“There’s not really anything else on offer like this in the city,” says Geocon corporate affairs manager Elliot Woods. “Buyers have been really stoked. You can get some pretty nice stuff in Woden and the inner south, but not in the city.”
With 423 of 550 apartments already sold, buyers will need to move swiftly.
“We have huge confidence that it will sell out,” says Woods. “There’s a lot more confidence in the market at all levels, but certainly at that high level. People have been sitting on their hands for a year and now they’re ready to move.”
There are only three of the 10 penthouses left, with prices ranging from $1.3 million up to $1.6 million, plus several three-bedroom apartments.
Geocon head of sales Adam Morgan says the penthouses are beautifully appointed with integrated appliances, high-end floorboards, waterfall finishes on the stone bench tops, a freestanding tub in the bathroom and pendant lighting. They have generous balconies and several have lock-up garaging.
Woods says the penthouses and three-bedroom properties have drawn wealthy downsizers looking for a premium product in the heart of Canberra.
“They’re people who have grown up in the suburbs with a big yard, but they don’t want that maintenance any more,” he says.
“They’re also keen on connectivity. From Metropol it’s 10 minutes’ walk to the middle of the city and 15 minutes’ walk up to Mount Ainslie.”
Several bus routes stop at Metropol, and the light rail and Canberra Centre shopping mall are within easy walking distance. Right on the doorstep you’ll find the four-hectare Glebe Park.
“Glebe Park is Canberra’s best open green space,” says Morgan. “It’s a lot like Sydney’s Hyde Park, with a playground and gazebos, well-manicured grounds, beautiful grass and oak trees. It’s a good representation of Canberra year-round and it looks beautiful in summer, winter, autumn and spring.
“You’ve got Metropol on one side and another premium apartment offering on the other side, and Canberra Centre to the right. It’s a welcome green break in a high density zone.”
Along with the shared penthouse, there are communal rooftop terraces with views over the Brindabellas and Mount Ainslie, plus a hanging garden, all designed by leading Canberra landscape architecture firm Oculus.
Architectural giants Fender Katsalidis, whose previous work includes the New Acton precinct and Mona in Tasmania, designed the three interconnected buildings that make up Metropol, drawing inspiration for the project from some of Canberra’s best-loved civic buildings including the National Gallery, the High Court of Australia and the Carillon.
These robust structures have a restrained material palette with concrete, glass and precious metal finishes. With the scaffolding down from two of the three buildings, the striking, angled facade and strong vertical lines now deliver a commanding street presence in Reid, one of the city’s oldest suburbs.
Inquiries have increased after the opening of a display suite at Metropol last month, allowing buyers to see the quality of the development.
Woods says buyers have plenty of choice of one and two-bedroom city apartments, but fewer options for three-bedders.
“It’s [been] hard to find nice three-bedroom apartments built in the last five years, so this is a rare opportunity,” he says.
“The Metropol apartments have really elegant finishes, the colour schemes are quite contemporary with earthy pastels. It’s great to be seeing this kind of stock coming into the city.”
Geocon’s High Society is another premium offering for Canberra, with 32 three-bedroom apartments from a total of 542, priced from $659,900 to $1.06 million.
Another Fender Katsalidis design, High Society has a wellness centre with a spa, gym, yoga room and heated outdoor pool. There’s a wine-cellar function space, a children’s activity room, a cinema and an observation deck.
It is part of Geocon’s Republic precinct, Belconnen, and sits atop the Abode Hotel, with 19 commercial premises at street level.