Saturday, November 10, 2007

Brisbane Featured in New York Times

Once Just a Stopover, an Australian City Grows Up


Published: November 4, 2007

ONCE just a stopover for tourists en route to either the Great Barrier Reef or the beaches on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts, the eastern Australian city of Brisbane has emerged as an alluring destination in its own right.



The Emporium Hotel (61-73-253-6999; 1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley, has doubles from 295 Australian dollars.

The recently opened Saville South Bank hotel (61-73-305-2500, 161 Grey Street, South Bank; is a short walk to the Queensland Performing Arts Complex, the State Art Gallery and museums. Studio apartments with kitchenettes from 398 Australian dollars.

Recent Brisbane Apartment Sales

Felix (26 Felix Street) Apt 194, sold for $412,000

River City (79 Albert Street) - Apt 1703 - sold at auction for $428,000

Festival Towers (108 Albert Street) - Apt 3109 - failed to sell at auction - highest bid was $440,000

Charlotte Towers (128 Charlotte Street) - Apt 507 - failed to sell at auction - highest bid was $330,000

Trilogy Tower

The pre-sales website has been launched for Trilogy Tower, on Queen Street. See

The developer, APH, is selling the whole building. There have been full page advertisements in the Financial Review.

Although not yet started, this building will be 70 floors high, located next door to Aurora.

"Trilogy Tower is situated on Queen Street, Brisbane's main street, and is destined to be the city's most famous landmark in the decades to come.

Due for completion in 2011, it will dominate the city and the waterfront from its position at the gateway to the CBD's highly prized 'Golden Triangle', the preferred location for Brisbane's leading corporate tenants.

Trilogy Tower is also conveniently sited within strolling distance of Brisbane's main shopping precinct, the majority of Brisbane's fine dining restaurants and many upmarket stores and lifestyle boutiques."

The building will include apartments:

"109 single and double storey prestige residential apartments

  • Occupation late 2011
  • World-class interior designs
  • Residents will have access to premium services (TBA)
  • Access to Residents private recreation deck including pool and spa on level 53
  • Dedicated high-speed lifts for residents use only
  • Secured basement carparks
  • Secured basement storage facilities"

And a hotel:

  • Five-star All Suite Hotel to commence operation in late 2011
  • Managed by Five-star hotel operator
  • 192 one and two bedroom hotel apartments
  • Dedicated Porte Cochere and Reception via Adelaide Street
  • Business Centre
  • Functions Centre
  • 25m heated pool
  • Fitness Centre
  • Stunning views of the Brisbane River and Story Bridge from all levels
  • Secured basement carpark
  • High speed lifts dedicated for hotel guests only
  • Five-star furniture packages available
  • One and Two bedroom Five-star Hotel Apartments available for investment from only AUD $450,000"

Flow West End

There is always a risk buying off the plan. Typically, that risk is off-set by getting a lower price -- i.e., buying at today's prices, but not having to pay until tomorrow.

That does not always hold true, if the initial pricing is too high. One example of an overpriced off the plan development was FKP's Vue, where a number of people appear to have sold recently for less than they paid off the plan.

Pradella is pricing its off-the-plan developments aggressively. One example is Flow at West End. Flow has been marketed off the plan for a number of years. Today's prices are about the same as one of the original price lists published over a year ago. A price list from 2006 is here. Settlement is in 4 weeks. There are some really nice apartments in Flow, and they are larger than normal. The better views are to the west, however.

This is one development where it looks like waiting until settlement (unless you got an insiders price or discount) would have been best in relation to price. However, most of the good apartments have sold, so waiting is not necessarily the best thing to do if that is where you would like to live!

Some Flow apartments listed for sale today (developer stock):

  • Apt 31, 3 bed, 4th floor, river views $1,425,000 (price was $1,375,000)
  • Apt 23, 3 bed, 3rd floor $1,405,000 (price was $1,380,000)
  • Apt 57, 2 bed, 2rd floor $970,000 (price was $970,000)
  • Apt 13, 2 bed, 1st floor $890,000 (price was $840,000)
  • Apt 51, 2 bed, 1st floor $890,000 (price was $930,000)
  • Apt 52, 3 bed, 1st floor $1,275,000 (price was $1,250,000)
  • Apt 14, 2 bed, 1st floor, $695,000 (price was $685,000)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Brisbane Apartment Short Term or Hotel Stays in Suites

I am often asked which apartment buildings are good for short term stays. That is, which apartments in Brisbane downtown and nearby are furnished, safe and have good facilities.

These are my recommendations, in this order:

1. Quay West, on Alice Street overlooking the Botanical Gardens.

Consistently rated as the number one hotel in Brisbane on TripAdvisor.
One and two bedroom suites, with daily service and room service. Pool, gym, restaurant. Large balcony. Great location and great views from all suites. The one bedroom suites have kitchen, large living area with desk, laundry room, bathroom and large bedroom. Two modern flat screen TVs. The nicest pool in Brisbane. Operated by Mirvac.
Book here.

2. Felix Apartments on Felix Street at Eagle Street.

An apartment building that Oaks has turned into a short term stay building. Good location, and most rooms have river views. Pool. Partly air conditioned (not central air conditioning). No room service. No hotel facilities. Good clientèle. Weekly clean.
Book here.

3. Saville Hotel at SouthBank

Only 18 months old, one of the newest hotels in Brisbane. Great location, just out of the downtown, but with many good restaurants nearby. A full service modern hotel. Pool and gym. Room service.
Book here.

4. Oaks - 212 Margaret Street

This was once a good place to stay, but now has a large construction site next door. No services.
Book here.

5. Oxygen Apartments, at Spring Hill

This is a favourite place for IT workers. Small apartments, just out of the city. No services.
Book here.


The best hotel, for a standard hotel room, is Stamford Plaza, on the Brisbane River. Book here.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Recent Apartment Sales in Brisbane


  • Festival Towers, Apartment 3109 - did not sell at auction - highest bidder $440,000
  • Charlotte Towers, Apartment 507 - did not sell at auction - highest bidder $330,000
  • Saville SouthBank, Apartment 1307 - sold prior to auction for $1,400,000


  • 99/204 Alice Street, Brisbane - $480,000 (The Gardens)
  • 901/108 Albert Street, Brisbane - $407,000 (Festival Towers)
  • 655/420 Queen St, Brisbane - $1,050,000 (Aurora)
  • 651/420 Queen Street, Brisbane - $1,135,000 (Aurora)
  • 1001/255 Ann Street, Brisbane - $290,000 (Rendezvous Hotel)
  • 2004/21 Mary Street, Brisbane - $500,000 (Metro 21)
  • 1004/35 Astor Terrace, Brisbane - $315,000 (The Astor)
  • 5304/226 Margaret Street, Brisbane - $3,740,000 (Vision - off the plan sale)

There are plenty of listings in Festival Towers and Charlotte Towers. (For example, Margaret Waters has a corner apartment listed on level 26 (apartment 2601) for $475,000. And see other posts below.) This doesn't help the price in these two Devine buildings, as there is always competition between vendors.