Luxury Developers in Australia Embrace Adaptive Reuse

Written By Laura Schier | December 05, 2017 | Published in Urban Design
2017%2f12%2f04%2f18%2f21%2f20%2f3255b68c 615c 429c 81a5 f8c9de74e07c%2faustralia%20

The innovative technique of adaptive reuse involves transforming a historical building into something new, while simultaneously preserving much of the old structure. Over the past five years, this unique architectural method has become increasingly popular in Australia’s high-end residential market, as developers begin to see potential in older buildings from historic mansions to former storefronts.

Developers in Australia are mainly looking at buildings in the inner-city areas for adaptive reuse opportunities in the Australian luxury property market. In Sydney, many converted buildings are being sold for upwards of $1 million. One sandstone house, built in 1876 and recently converted into an apartment building, is selling $1.15 million for a studio apartment, an estimated $3 million for a two-bedroom and, on the higher floors, practically $4.5 million for a three-bedroom. These apartments fall in a higher price range in Sydney, where typical two-bedrooms sell for $870,000 and three-bedrooms sell for around $1.6 million. According to Mansion Global, 50 percent of the apartments in this converted sandstone house sold the same day they hit the market in August.

Rothelowman, an award-winning architect from Melbourne, is among the many architects beginning to see potential in older buildings. Rothelowman creates contemporary apartments from Victorian and Federation mansions, factories from the early 1900’s, and Art Deco shop fronts, to name a few. According to Rothelowman Melbourne principal Stuart Marsland, there had been a tendency in the past for architects to simply tear down old buildings and build new ones over the original site. Marsland states that “now it’s becoming more acceptable to restore a building in suburban locations, and it’s a sign of the country’s growing sophistication.”

Adaptive reuse has also become a popular trend in New York City. Architects use all types of structures, such as factories, churches, warehouses, and even stables, for reconstruction. As there is currently a high demand for developable land in the area and many buildings and structures are centuries old, developers have come to see the NYC area as a perfect example of a place that could benefit from adaptive reuse. One notable building currently in the process of conversion is a 19th century Mount Pleasant Baptist Church at 140-142 West 81st Street, which CMC development group is currently converting into a five-unit condo. Much of the church’s original architecture will be preserved and will become unique highlights of the building, such as its gabled roofs and stained-glass rose window.

Historical architecture is being preserved across both New York City and Australia as developers increasingly use adaptive reuse, maintaining each city’s historical charm and character while developing more residences in a creative fashion. Which city will utilize this innovative trend next?

Blog Archive


This information is not verified for authenticity or accuracy and is not guaranteed and may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. © 2021 REBNY Listing Service, Inc. All rights reserved. RLS IDX Data display by Elegran LLC. IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal, non- commercial use and that it may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing.

Elegran LLC may or may not be the exclusive listing agent of the properties being displayed on All data displayed on is presented for informational purposes only and should be independently confirmed by all customers. All Information is compiled from both public and private sources including, but not limited to the RLS, MLS and ACRIS; each of which is assumed to be reliable. All information displayed is subject to errors and omissions regarding apartment specifications and final sale prices, and further, any unit listed may have had its listing withdrawn without notice subsequent to such information being compiled. No representation is made as to the accuracy of any description (ie: listing, close sale data, and/or building description) of any building or individual unit. All measurements and square footage are approximate and all information herein should be confirmed by customer and/or their attorney. Elegran LLC, its members, affiliates, and contributors adhere to New Your City, New York State, and United States Fair Housing Laws.