Underpinning strong demand within Sydney’s luxury apartment market was the green light Fortis (the development arm of Pallas group) received from Waverley Council for the development of 9 four-bedroom freestanding homes (over a communal basement) at 122-128 Hewlett Street in Bronte.

Construction on the project, titled the ‘Bronte Collection’ which has an estimated end value of $134 million, starts early 2024, with each home having views over Bronte Beach.

Designed by MHN Design Union, the site’s (2,472 sqm) nine lavishly appointed residences offer large living, entertaining and outdoor areas, private dual garaging with EV charging provisions, private pools, outdoor showers, and individual lifts, with select residences also offering a state-of-the-art gym and sauna.

“This site marks the beginning of a fresh chapter for Fortis, as we embark on a new sector of housing, designing standalone homes that strike a balance between contemporary and classical interiors,” noted Patrick Baldock, associate director at Fortis.

Alexander & CO, and Lawless & Meyerson have been appointed as the interior architects on the project, while landscaping will be handled by local integrated landscape design practice Wyer & Co.

Given that there hasn’t been a new development of this calibre approved in Bronte in over five years, Alexander Phillips, Principal, PPD Real Estate expects strong demand for this high-quality product as the downsizer market continues to strengthen, especially in tightly held Eastern Suburbs coastal locations.

I can’t understand how one of the best cities in the world has a planning system that just doesn’t work… it is just fundamentally broken

Interest rates and poor planning

Despite concerns over interest rates and the harbour city’s poor planning system, there’s been no shortage of new high-rise luxury apartment projects coming to market across Sydney.

At a recent Australian Financial Review Property Summit, property developer Tim Gurney attributed delays at 14 sites owned by the billionaire’s Gurner Group to Sydney’s ‘sclerotic’ planning system, which he described as ‘genuinely terrifying’.

“I can’t understand how one of the best cities in the world has a planning system that just doesn’t work… it is just fundamentally broken,” Gurner said at the recently held summit.

Other Sydney projects

The green light on the ‘Bronte Collection’ follows plans by Gurney to develop luxury apartments, shops, restaurants and bars at the 18-level tower he recently acquired near Sydney’s Barangaroo for around $200 million.

Meanwhile at Barangaroo, Lendlease’s luxury residences at its $4 billion One Sydney Harbour project – its first entrée into Australian dedicated luxury residences – is about to close the first of three planned towers ahead of the January Completion date.

Lendlease is expected to continue its foray into luxury residences with a project at nearby Circular Quay which is understood to have already pre-sold over 50% for around $1 billion.

Then there’s Sydney developer Deicorp which also plans to commence work on a luxury apartment tower, with approval for a 55-level (168-apartment) Hyde Metropolitan project overlooking Hyde Park.

Over on Sydney’s north shore, developer Tim Price is planning a boutique low-rise apartment complex at Manly and is understood to have the backing of billionaire, James Packer.

Having combined sites along Belgrave Street, Price’s company, Time & Place – which has previously completed projects at Waterloo, Double Bay and The Rocks – is planning to develop a four to five-storey complex.