The Impossible Approval

Just wanted to let you in on the latest developments with one of my properties.

This is a property in Newcastle – you may have seen the picture of the shop at the end of the row before…


But based on the success of my Bondi project where I got a 3 story apartment build by a modular company and then installed in a single day, I started looking at what I could do with this property.

I looked at doing something like this years ago but at the time the zoning and council plans wouldn’t really allow me to do much.

Then a few years ago they opened up the height restrictions to 3 or 4 stories…

Then more recently it went up again.

You know how I keep saying you have to stay on top of this stuff?

This is why. Things change all the time.

So, at some point, my architect came to me and said that things had changed again and all of a sudden I could go higher density and taller than I could before.

So together we developed a plan and put it to the council.

I actually travelled down to Newcastle to sit in a preliminary meeting with the council town planners. At the end of the meeting, they said “This is exactly what we want in this area”

My architect nearly fell over.

He put the plans in but he told me that he never thought they would say yes.

See that big grey and white building (with the person on the balcony) that’s in both photos? That’s what we’ve put to the council as a proposal.

It’s designed to slip in behind the terrace and use a little of the vacant land next to the building (which is on my title)

So we submitted the plans…

It brought up a couple of objections…

Actually 35 objections… And two potential court injunctions!

Forget it… Everyone in the row objected…

There’s no way it’s ever going to go through with all that piled against it…

Or so I thought… Until this morning!

We just got approval.

Seriously – What a miracle!

Neither my architect or I can believe it.

I guarantee the neighbours will all lodge similar after objecting. Such is life.

Anyway one of the things that came up was this:

The council made specific comment on the quality of these plans. I wondered if it may have been one of the contributing factors for getting the approval.

I'm telling you this to show you (yet another) reason why commercial property seems to keep opening up new opportunities to increase the value and the cash flow of your properties, provided you right the right kind.

This was a totally unexpected opportunity, but one I'm very grateful for because it opens the door to new ideas and new ways of looking at what I could do next.

I’m not even sure if I’ll go ahead with the build or just sell off the entire property with the DA.

Right now I’m just getting some more information on apartment sales etc from local agents.

Once I get more information I’ll get some numbers together and show you what I’ve come up with… Just so you understand the pros-cons-risks-and-rewards of a deal like this.

No matter what happens, I wanted you to see why commercial property has so much potential.

The block’s really not that big… Seriously only 233sqm. But when you look at the plans and see everything that can be built on it in this zoning…it's amazing.

Because of the zoning, I can build straight up… Which opens the door to so many more possibilities. And I’m not even going to the full height allowable – It could be even bigger!

Anyway – if you're still hanging onto the idea of residential property being the best way to invest, go ask the local council how much you could build (highest and best use) on your 233sqm resi block…

If they even allow blocks that small – they'll laugh you out of the office… These amazing opportunities are only in the commercial world… And that's why I have loved commercial as an investment plan for over 40 years.