What are the key factors that make successful places?
The importance of good design and successful place-making in the property industry has grown and is likely to continue doing so. But what makes a place successful? At the heart of it is people, as people make places. A major drawcard to any place for me is the potential to experience something new, a chance for discovery or inspiration, to build community and enduring memories. When making decisions I highly value the potential to create enduring memories, and typically run shortlisted options through my ‘would-I-tell-my-grandchildren’ test. How we interact and experience places is so important, whether these experiences are inspired by nature, architecture, landscape, food and beverage, music, art, storytelling or simply a random engagement with an interesting person.
This trend is on the rise, as evidenced by the popularity (pre-Covid at least) in selling ‘one-of-a-kind’ experiences. From a local AirBnB type experience - choosing from dance lessons, pasta-making or even yoga with goats (AirBnB website October, 2020) - to a desert dinner under the stars at Uluru. And this is as relevant to the hospitality and residential sectors as it is in say health.
The challenge then for the property industry is understanding how we embrace, translate, and monetise these experiential opportunities to create high-quality and enduring places. The first step is recognising the real value of this potential to drive innovation and change. The traditional approach to ‘highest and best use’ analyses, that underly many development feasibility models, may need refining as the market gets tighter and more sophisticated and the variety of choices increase.
A good example of how we are doing this at 1-11 Oxford Street, Paddington is our high-quality boutique hotel and mixed-use development which will facilitate unique, personalised experiences and leverage social media with highly ‘Instagrammable’ spaces. Our development approach is summarised as:
Analysing what makes the building and place unique
Understanding its history and landform
Adopting a genuine focus on community, neighbourhood, and rejuvenation
Incorporating a more avant-garde approach to design with a focus on performing arts and theatre to create a diversity uses with vibrant places for the community, consistent with the urban soul of Paddington and Darlinghurst
Creating a place with buzz and hype which is authentic, immersive, and experiential with comfortable places to connect, be inspired and create enduring memories.
We are well-progressed with the design of our development and are excited at the prospect of obtaining development consent from City of Sydney Council on 4 November this year to realise our vision.
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