James Tutton, Matthew Yovich and Nik Bulum are behind some of Australia’s most innovative urban developments. These have not only transformed location and space, but have helped shape and build communities around the country. We spoke with them about the urban areas they are looking to next.
Nik Bulum, director at B&T Constructions, Canberra
“Braddon is unique because it’s book-ended by a park and the city, and has a great energy morning to evening. Community is its great strength, so people meet the bakers, baristas and chefs because the [stores] are independently owned and boutique, not large-scale chains. I’m looking for interesting sites, rather than areas, to build new communities; creating small villages that house mixed businesses and hospitality in the suburbs. Sites in the inner city that, for example, have become out-dated, like the local shopping centre or bowls club. Creating new spaces and experiences in business models that have died and don’t work in today’s world.”
James Tutton, director and founder of Neometro, a development company in Melbourne
“Brunswick is the future, there’s no two ways about it. At the moment it’s quite fragmented, like being in parts of Los Angeles—its huge. What I think we will see in five years is some very clear pockets of Brunswick and Thornbury and Preston, which will become more of a hub. There’s a massive movement towards the area. Looking outside of Melbourne, I think in the Mornington Peninsula we may see a move away from the more grandiose wine thing to something a bit more organic in nature. In Rye and Dromana we’re seeing a more mindful, foodie set moving in.”
Matthew Yovich, director of Rook Salinger, strategic property advisory, Sydney
“In Bondi the retail and food offering was quite fragmented, with Icebergs and Sean’s Panaroma for fine-dining, a few local cafes and not a lot in between. We identified a gap in the market for other leading restaurateurs. Our new development – The Pacific – is going to introduce more restaurants, fashion brands and high-quality street food. People used to drive past Bondi to go to Surry Hills and Potts Point for dining, but it’s becoming a food destination in its own right. A lot of development has been happening in Chatswood, which is now home to the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant in the world. Double Bay is going through a resurgence, and Drummoyne’s new fresh-food precinct will be one of the best places in Sydney to buy fresh food.”