Monday, April 21, 2008

Evolution Reviews

The Evolution Apartment building at North Quay in Brisbane is now complete and people have moved in.

Unfortunately, it is being run as a short term and holiday "hotel". You can book at and stay the night. Or you can spend more than $2 million and buy the penthouse and share your facilities with overnight visitors.

I visited last week, and these are my opinions.


The views from some of the apartments are magnificent, especially from the higher floors and those looking down the river in the South Eastern direction.

The quality of finishes is generally good. Ducted air-conditioning, good kitchens, floor-to-ceiling tiles in bathrooms, plenty of cupboard space in most apartments, good security, nice windows and sliding doors.

Two elevators, both spacious.

I didn't like the car parking -- the driveways were too narrow.

The pool area on level 6 is relatively nice. A big outdoor space, with bbq and good light. An indoor kitchen nearby. Also, a TV room. The gym was very small. When I visited, the pool area (but not the pool itself) was getting a lot of use. A large group having a bbq and another in the TV room.

One feature that the developer highlighted in advertising was the communal sky lounge on level 36. It has a quality kitchen and pool table, plus small TV and lounge area. It is not a large area overall. But, if you wish to use it, you have to pay a $200 fee to the on site manager!

I did not like the noise from the South East Freeway, which could be heard in all apartments that have river views. It is one of the busiest roads in Brisbane, and is directly below the building (between the building and the river). This is a major drawback. Some apartments had double sliding doors, which cut down the noise when closed. Sitting on the balcony was very noisy.

Type A Apartment Two bed, two bath. (84 sqm internal, plus two balconies, with total space of 102 sqm)

Overall, this apartment had a good feel. It seemed larger than 84 sqm internal. The main balcony was a good size - it looks one direction along the South Bank river reach and the other direction along the Coronation Drive river reach.

The apartment has a westerly aspect, which is a negative. The living room / dining room is, however, small. One couch was pushed up against the kitchen bench, and the dining table pushed up against the wall.

There is a large entry and hallway, that includes a good study desk.

The bedrooms are relatively separated. The main bedroom is a good size with a large ensuite. However, it looks west. The second bedroom gets little light, as its aspect is blocked by the main bedroom.

Warning: On most floors, this apartment is blocked by the office building next door -- which is right up along side. This has a major negative impact on the second bedroom, and a negative aspect on the main bedroom. The second bedroom in the apartment that I saw had very minimal natural light and no view at all.

Type B Apartment Two bed, two bath (76 sqm internal and 10 sqm external - total of 86 sqm)

Not a large apartment, and about 5 sqm is hallway. Small kitchen. Small balcony. Bedrooms on each side of living room, and directly off living room (so less privacy). This apartment had a cramped feeling. So small that there was no room for a bath -- two showers but no bath. The views were good, South East down the South Bank river reach. It is best to be above level 15 or so, otherwise the Federal Court on the other side of the road may impact views, but not dramatically. Main bedroom was a good size with good views from large windows. Overall, too tiny.

B type apartment on 11th floor, 115, for sale at $760,000. This is way too expensive in my opinion for this apartment.

Type C Apartment Two bed, one bath (64 sqm internally plus 13 sqm balcony = total of 77 sqm)

There are two types of C type apartments, next door to each other. One is the mirror image of the other.

Surprisingly, I liked this apartment the best.

It is very small. There is no ensuite. There is a shower but no bath. The main bedroom is behind the 2nd bedroom and so has a small window and little light.

However, as soon as you walk in, you see the view. It looks South East down the South Bank river reach. It is a surprisingly good view from higher floors. However, you must be above level 15 or so, otherwise the Federal Court on the other side of the road will impact views dramatically. The balcony is a good shape and size. Not impacted by the Western sun.

Keep in mind that as the office building under construction at 402 George Street grows, these apartments will loose a lot of their city views. But this will not impact the river aspect.

C type apartment on 18th floor, 183, for sale at $650,000.

Type D Apartment One bed, one bath (53 sqm internal and 9 balcony - 62 sqm total)

Very small. Has Western aspect. No river views. Views mostly of Roma Street railway goods yards. No carpark included. Views will be impacted by proposed Meriton Tower on Herschel Street and office building being constructed on George Street. Kitchen is just a wall of cupboards. This apartment has no redeeming features at all.

D type apartment on 11th floor, 111, for sale at $414,000

There are a number of "sub-penthouse apartments" for sale as well. For example, apartment 344 on level 33 is a 2 floor apartment, 2 bedrooms upstairs and living kitchen downstairs. 144 sqm in total, so it is a good size, with a good aspect. However, the balcony is glassed in, so has a strange feeling. But the price -- $1,700,000 for a 2 bedroom apartment !!!

More details on the "sub-penthouse" apartments here.

Overall, this building has some nice apartments and some horrid apartments. It is ok for a short stay, for example, if you had to live here for 3 months. But I would not want to live any longer. The apartments with the good layouts and aspects are too small, and the larger apartments on higher floors are too too expensive. Many apartments have negatives -- too small, western aspect, built up against another building or poor layout. Over time, I suspect that this building will not live up to its promises and will become a place for students or short term stays only. I will avoid Evolution.

Prior posts on Evolution are here.

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