I’ve been following the progression of the Breathe architecture led Nightingale Brunswick apartment project with interest over the last few months. Mostly because it seems the creators have developed a design led alternative development model with some similarities to the Property Collectives model, although focused on apartments versus townhouses.
So it was good to read this week that this project has been approved by Moreland City Council.
The thing that struck me the most about the reports of the town planning approval process was the amount of community support for the project and the model. Particularly from the architectural community.
As noted in Michael Smith’s blog Nightingale received only 3 objections and had “an unprecedented 177 letters of support from architects and the local community wanting to see more affordable and environmentally sustainable housing.”
It’s very encouraged to hear that this level of support exists for an alternative development model.
Despite the lowest interest rates in history property is still unattainable for many so it is exciting to see so many people embrace a clever way to access high quality property.
Perhaps it is not too much of a surprise that a lot of the support for the project came from the architectural community. It seems this new model allows architects to take more control over the end product than many developers would allow them.
What the Nightingale project shows is that tweaking your financial model to elevates other priorities like quality and sustainability to an almost equal status as money can result in higher quality outcomes that people are passionate to support.
As Smith outlines in his piece, with the “Nightingale” financial model, “the profits of the developers are capped at 15%, rather than the traditional developer model which starts at 20% and then squeezes the costs and quality to get a bonus return. In the Nightingale model, Marketing costs, real estate costs and showroom costs are all eliminated completely with savings passed on to the buyers.”
The Nightingale is another alternative development model that is democratising development and making well designed buildings attainable and achievable for everyone.
Many congratulations to all involved in Nightingale 1. To achieve what they have done to date with a large number of stakeholders is impressive. It is a reflection of a strong vision executed well.
I hope Darebin City Council are just as generous as Moreland when it comes to approving our little alternative development model project in Clarke St Northcote!