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Welcome to Dubbo, where the appetite for apartment living is sky high

Location: Dubbo, New South Wales
Population: 74, 084 (LGA, 2021 Census)

When the first residents move into the modernist No. 1 Church Street in the bustling centre of western New South Wales city Dubbo next year, they will be making history. Inland Australia isn’t known for its high-rise properties, but Dubbo-based developers Walkom Brothers believe the regions certainly can support them.

The multimillion-dollar project, by developers Kevin and John Walkom and Harvey Norman’s Gerry Harvey, consists of a 15-story residential and retail building, with 80 apartments, 60 of which are already under contract.  Construction is underway and the development is expected to be completed by the final quarter of 2025.

Kevin and John Walkom have part owned, with Gerry Harvey, the land No.1 Church Street sits on since 2005 and state they knew of its potential immediately. An original development application for the site included serviced apartments, but extensive market research over five years resulted in that component of the development being dropped, with a focus on private apartments alone.

Determining pricing proved to be tricky, with no contemporaries, and limited apartment building in Dubbo in recent years, but the Walkom Brothers are confident they’ve found a sweet spot. 

Walkom Brothers Director, John Walkom believes regional Australia is maturing and with this comes a desire for higher-density living options – evident by the demographic that’s shown the most interest in No. 1 Church Street.

“They’re retirees and they’re downsizers. They want a turnkey option and not to have to worry about outside maintenance. There’s a lot of this demographic coming through - Baby Boomers are only just starting to really ‘hit the market’ for this type of living in regional areas.”

Mr Walkom’s advice for others wanting to take on a medium density development in a regional area is “Do your homework” when it comes to scoping out finance and whether the market would be accepting of such a proposal. Design is also important.

“Ensure you understand planning processes, and whether the land’s zoning is appropriate or needs amending.”

No. 1 Church Street was highlighted at the National Regional Housing Summit in February 2024.

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