Fertile plot to unearth purchase

Residential developer Trenerry Property Group is luring green-thumb apartment buyers by offering a garden plot in its new Camberwell project.

Residential developer Trenerry Property Group is luring green-thumb apartment buyers by offering a garden plot in its new Camberwell project.

Each of the 123 units in the five-level $70 million "Ebony" development, due to begin construction at 347 Camberwell Road in the middle of this year, will come with its own vegetable plot under a licence arrangement with the building's body corporate.

"Every owner will have one," said Trenerry director Robert DiCintio.

"There's a shift in the way people are living, moving in to low-maintenance apartments. We're trying to engender a community spirit ... and allow people to meet their neighbours," Mr DiCintio said.

The concept borrowed from the popularity of community allotments such as St Kilda's "Veg Out" neighbourhood garden.

The small plots, about two square metres, will sit on a north-facing bed on the site, which is near Camberwell Junction, in the heart of Melbourne's eastern suburbs.

Architects Carabott Holt Turcinov designed the building.

Construction is expected to start in June with a projected completion date in December 2014. It was already 70 per cent sold, Mr DiCintio said.

The ground and first floors will include 1000 square metres of retail and commercial space. Three townhouses will also be built on the site. Only 122 apartments have been constructed in Camberwell since 2005, figures from analysts Charter Keck Cramer show. Another 38 are under construction and 121 were being marketed.

Trenerry purchased the site opposite the suburb's town hall in May last year for $8.47 million. Before that it was earmarked to become a $50 million commercial building with a permit for a four-level, 8277-square-metre office.

Another developer, FKP Property Group, recently completed the nearby Aerial apartments.

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria calculates Camberwell's median unit value at $575,000 in the March quarter.

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