Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Admiralty One

I am often asked to recommend apartment buildings to new arrivals in Brisbane, either for long term rental accommodation or for purchase. This is the first in a series highlighting what I believe are good apartment buildings in Brisbane.

My favourite building is Admiralty One (or Admiralty I), at 35 Howard Street, Brisbane.

It is 28 floors (87 metres) high, all residential apartments. The building was completed in 1992. It has less than 160 apartments.

It is in an excellent location, right on the Brisbane River, and a very short walk along the river boardwalk to the downtown area.

On the lower levels, there are seven apartments per floor. At the front (i.e., on the river side) are a large 2 bedroom (132 sqm), a smaller 2 bedroom (106 sqm), a one bedroom (79 sqm) and a large 2 bedroom (132 sqm). All four of these apartments have river views, and regardless of what floor you are on, the views are fantastic. The views include the Storey Bridge in one direction and the Kangaroo Point cliffs in the other direction. At the back of the building, with city views or partial river views, are two one bedroom apartments (72 sqm) and a two bedroom apartment (98 sqm).

On the higher levels, there are five apartments per floor (three at the front, two at the back). The front apartments include three bedroom apartments, and the sizes of the front aparmtents range from 149 sqm to 197 sqm). At the back, there are two apartments at 105 sqm.

There is also a subpenthouse level (three apartments) and a penthouse level.

As you can see, the apartments in Admiralty One are much larger than apartments in newer buildings. For example, a typical 2 bedroom apartment in a new building is lucky to have 85 sqm of internal floor area. In Admiralty One, there are 2 bedroom apartments with over 115 sqm of internal floor area.

The building is well managed, and the body corporate committee is very professional and caring.

I believe that there are more owner-occupiers than renters in Admiralty One.

The building has undercover secure resident parking, secure guest parking, a small indoor pool, a gym and an onsite restaurant (Bubbles and Beans).

Positive Aspects
  • Large apartments
  • Fantastic views from front apartments
  • Absolute riverfront
  • Excellent inner city location
  • Four elevators for 28 floors (a very good ratio compared with newer buildings)
  • Good security
  • Pool
  • Gym
  • Caring and more mature residents
  • Good on-site management
  • Most apartments are airconditioned
  • Most apartments have their own laundry room
  • Good closet and cupboard space
  • Quality kitchens and bathrooms
  • Close to Marriott Hotel and restaurants
  • Far enough away from Storey Bridge so cannot hear traffic noise.
Negative Aspects
  • No view from the pool, as it faces the city side
  • Smaller balconies
  • Hard to get river front apartment in this building
Rental Inquiries

The best place to start is the on-site manager. Recently, there has been a change in on-site managers, as the previous manager (Leon Azar) moved to Arbour on Grey at South Bank. The new on-site managers are Jenny and Kingsley Short, telephone 07 3831 6455

The onsite manager maintains an Internet website at: http://www.seqrents.com.au/admiralty/

Typically, a large furnished two bedroom apartment with river views will rent for more than $640 per week. An unfurnished two bedroom apartment with river views will rent for $430 per week.

Each owner will furnish the apartment to a different standard, so the furnishing in one apartment is not at all representative of the style, quality or age of the furnishings in any other apartment.

Sales Inquiries

I recommend Margaret Waters as a good agent who knows riverfront apartment buildings.

An agent from West End, Open House Realty, is trying to get more business from sales in Admiralty One, but my experience with them has not been good for a number of reasons. I also understand that Open House is somehow associated with the on-site managers, as well as the on-site managers for a nearby building (River Place). It appears that they are trying to sell apartments to investors, rather than owner-occupiers, as the investors will then rent the apartment through the on-site managers.

Recent sales in 2007 include:
  • Apartment 56 (Floor 9, 106 sqm, 2 bedrooms, river side) for more than $650,000.
  • Apartment 92 (Floor 14, 1 bedroom, river side) for more than $500,000

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