27 November 2015, Written by Jenna Rathbone


ENVI in Southport is going against the grain, delivering an alternative to the traditional housing concepts on the Gold Coast.

"Developers have historically only built two types of housing - family homes in the suburbs or units with body corporate," says architect Amy Degenhart.

"When you compare that to other world-class cities, we are so far behind."

This has prompted Degenhart and town planner Nicole Willis to launch ENVI - a development planned for the corner of Lenneberg and Meron Streets in Southport that will feature a combined subdivision of nine freehold terrace homes.

The lots range in size from 60sqm to 85sqm and will house one, two and three bedroom homes costing $350,000 to $580,000.

Degenhart says it is the first of its kind for the Gold Coast, but is nothing new in Australia, replicating traditional terraces in Sydney and Melbourne.

"We call it ENVI because it is all about city envy," says Degenhart.

"The Gold Coast is sort of envying the urban housing in Melbourne, Sydney and New York that we haven't really managed to deliver to the city yet.

"We saw this opportunity with the PDA to show Gold Coasters that this sort of development can exist here and hopefully by doing so, we can break that property glass ceiling."

Buyers are enjoying the alternative, with five of the homes already sold off the plan.  Degenhart says it is typically attracting homeowners who are drawn by the absence of body corporate fees within the project.

"Of those owner-occupiers, two are first-home buyers and that was very much a target for us," she says.

"Partly because I have seen my own family come to maturity - my own kids are out there seeking some kind of home ownership and finding such frustration with starting that process and finding a home that would be right for them."

Buyers have the opportunity to style the interior of their home with the architect and builder including colour choices and wall placements.

The three-bedroom homes are designed to operate home-based businesses with separate entrances, separate facilities and the opportunity for signage.

Degenhart says it is great to be able to support start-ups that want to be close to the Southport CBD.

"Investing in a home that can actually earn income at stages in your life when that is important and necessary is just a whole other layer to buying a home and considering a home," she says.

"In terms of housing affordability there is a lot of stress in that regard, so one way to ease the stress is to actually make that house perform more duties for you and layering that opportunity for business use."

The demolition of the current property is expected to take place in the next two weeks.


Author: Jenna Rathbone
About: Jenna Rathbone is a Queensland-based journalist who writes on a range of issues including business and property affairs and social issues.
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