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The Peak is a great little project of just 26 apartments that are spread over three small buildings. There is a diverse range of apartments in this project from small one (1) bedroom apartments to massive whole-level penthouses. This makes the project great for students who go to UQ, young couples who want to live in St Lucia or maybe even wealthy downsizers who have had a large family home in St Lucia and want to stay living in the area but don’t need as much space as before.
The advantage of building these apartments over three separate structures is that views and privacy are both maximised. Each apartment at The Peak shares an elevator lobby with just one other apartment and the balconies are positioned in a way that maximises the potential for privacy from other apartments and great views over St Lucia.
The Peak is located at 55 Bellevue Terrace and has a frontage on Sir Fred Schonell Drive. The number one advantage of this location is obviously its close proximity to UQ. Residents will be able to walk, drive or catch a bus to the University campus with ease. On top of this, St Lucia is a blue-chip suburb and regarded as one of the nicest in Brisbane. It is also just 6kms from the CBD and it’s easy to drive or catch a bus into the city along Coronation Drive.
There is just 1 x one (1) bedroom apartment at Peak, reasonably priced at $399,000 and is 55m2 internally with a 9m2 deck. This looks like a nice apartment for a young couple or single person looking for a home in St Lucia, or an investor who wants an affordable investment in a blue-chip suburb.
The bedroom is quite large and will get plenty of natural light. On top of this, the bathroom is well positioned next to the bedroom and is accessible from the living area. The kitchen bench is ‘U’ shaped, meaning that it will be usable for cooking. There is also a small desk to put a computer on in the main living area which is an important addition if somebody wants to call this apartment home. One downside of this floor plan is that the deck is quite small, however, it will have a better outlook than some of the balconies on other apartments in this complex that look into other apartments. Also, given The Peak’s elevated position, the view will be good even from the first level. It will look out over suburban St Lucia.
The majority of apartments at The Peak are two (2) bedroom configurations. There are 22 of these in total, 5 of which have separate studies. All of the two (2) bedroom apartments at The Peak have two (2) bathrooms.
The two (2) bedroom floor plans range in size and design. In general, the bedrooms in these apartments seem to be pushed up against each other which is an unfortunate downside because it reduces the amount of privacy for the people living inside an apartment which is particularly important if you are an investor who intends to rent these out, because it is likely they will be rented as a shared living space between two couples or two single people. Apart from that, they are quite nice apartments. Many have large balconies and kitchens that would be great for entertaining and the apartments with separate studies would be quite comfortable for a young family to live in or for those who are downsizing.
One of the standout parts of this project is the three (3) bedroom apartments, particularly the top floor penthouse style apartments. These are up there with some of the largest apartments on the market in Brisbane, particularly in the middle ring suburbs. They span 185m² internally with multiple large decks totalling around 50m². These apartments start at $1,499,000 and would be a realistic alternative to a family home in St Lucia. Standout features of the floor plans include the feature entrance way, butler’s pantry and an indoor/outdoor breakfast bar which would be fantastic for entertaining. Each of these apartments comes with three bathrooms and two car parks and has a really good study that has ample desk space.
Although this project fronts Bellevue Terrace and Sir Fred Schonell Drive, access to the car park is off Bellevue Terrace. This is good because Sir Fred Schonell Drive is quite busy and coming in and out of a car park on that street would be difficult at times. There are seven car parks for visitors including one car wash bay and a wheelchair accessible space.
The Peak is located at 56 Bellevue Terrace in St Lucia. It also has frontage on Sir Fred Schonell Drive which is the main road that goes to UQ. St Lucia is a wealthy residential suburb that is located about 6kms west of the CBD and is bordered by the Brisbane River, Toowong, Taringa and Indooroopilly.
Bellevue Terrace is a steep suburban street and The Peak is located near the top of the hill (hence the name of the project).
The most obvious draw-card of an apartment in St Lucia is its proximity to UQ. The Peak is 1.5km from UQ, meaning residents could walk there in around 20 minutes or drive there in 3 minutes. There is also a bus stop just 300m away on Sir Fred Schonell Drive that has a service leaving for UQ every 10 minutes. UQ is Queensland’s largest and most prestigious university. The St Lucia campus is home to more than 30,000 students and attracts people from all over the world.
A downside of being located on Sir Fred Schonell Drive is the notoriously bad traffic. Every day at peak hour there is gridlock traffic into and out of St Lucia due to a large number of people who come to the university for work and study. Also, St Lucia is a highly popular residential area for families, so many people drive into the CBD from St Lucia and Brisbane Street/Sir Fred Schonell Drive is a bit of a bottleneck.
On that note, a drive to the CBD from The Peak Apartments takes just 10 minutes in normal traffic conditions. Again, the bus stop on Sir Fred Schonell Drive that is 300m away from The Peak offers a service into the city every 10 minutes that takes approximately 20 minutes to get to Ann Street.
St Lucia does not have its own train station, but Toowong Train Station is just over 1km away. Toowong Station is four stops out from Central Station, meaning a trip into the city from here takes less than 10 minutes.
St Lucia is home to a variety of different people. It is a suburb that has a large student population as well as a number of professional families with children. There were 11,195 people living in St Lucia at the 2011 Census and the median age of the population was 23 years. Again, this is due to the number of families with children and students in the area.
Many young families are drawn to the area because there are plenty of schools nearby. Ironside State School is a great primary school that is 15 minutes walk or 3 minutes drive from The Peak Apartments. In terms of secondary education, Brisbane Boys College, St Peters Anglican School and Indooroopilly State High School are all within 2kms of The Peak.
There is a small park at the bottom of the street which is great for families, kids and anybody who likes to sit on the grass and chill out.
The median house price in St Lucia is over $1,000,000 and the median apartment price is $442,000. The median apartment price has softened by 10% over the past year, according to Core Logic. The median weekly rent for an apartment in St Lucia is $430 per week.
Quality and Finishes:
The Peak Apartments are definitely finished more to the level of quality expected in a home compared to some of the investor grade apartments that are on the market today.
There is a choice of two colour schemes on offer: one is more of a stark colour scheme with white tiles and black bench tops, whilst the other is softer, with timber flooring, grey bench tops, timber and white cabinetry.
ILVE has supplied all of the kitchen appliances at The Peak. In most apartments, this consists of a 60cm gas cooktop, stainless steel oven, undermount rangehood, dishwasher and microwave. In the penthouse apartments, there are slightly better appliances. There is an induction cooktop and gas wok burner from ILVE, as well as a pyrolytic oven. These apartments also have fully integrated fridges and freezers from Liebherr which are great quality fridges. The butler’s pantry in these apartments has a fully integrated dishwasher and built-in microwave from ILVE.
The floors throughout these apartments are timber, which is a good quality addition. These apartments also have ducted air conditioning throughout which is a must-have during Brisbane’s summer. In each laundry at The Peak, there is a 5kg dryer from Fisher & Paykel. The penthouses, however, have 8kg washer and dryer from Villeroy & Boch.
There are some small design features throughout this project that we think is fantastic. Many bedrooms have large bay windows with three sides that will offer a fantastic outlook over the suburbs. Another ‘cool’ feature is the indoor/outdoor breakfast bar that is in several apartment types. This is great considering Brisbane’s climate and lifestyle.
Several apartment types at The Peak would be suitable for use as an investment, particularly considering the rental demand created by nearby amenity such as UQ.
A rental appraisal from May 2016 shows that the following rental values may be expected at The Peak:
1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom – $370 to $400 per week
2 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom – $550 to $580 per week
3 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom – $600 to $645 per week
There are a number of new apartment projects close to The Peak. Probably the closest in terms of both location and design is Brasted Place in St Lucia. This project offers high-quality owner occupier apartments on a quiet suburban street. Brasted Place is potentially a slightly better quality product, however, its outlook isn’t as nice and it doesn’t offer large 185m2 penthouses. Another project nearby is Westside in Indooroopilly. This project is quite different from The Peak, being nine stories tall and across the road from Indooroopilly Shopping Centre. It is in a busier location but is much closer to shops and transport.
Liverland is the property developer of The Peak Apartments in St Lucia. Liverland is a privately owned developer that is based in Brisbane and well-known within the city. They specialise in medium density residential development and have more than 28 years of experience under their belt.
The builder for these apartments is Hutchinson Builders, who is one of Australia’s largest and most reputable building companies.
In a few months, once construction has reached a certain point, there will be open homes in a display apartment at The Peak.