BPM is a boutique property developer known for delivering architecturally inspiring developments at affordable price points. Since the company’s establishment in 1996, founder Jonathan Hallinan’s hands-on mentality and uncompromising attitude towards quality and design has seen BPM emerge as one of Australia’s most capable property development businesses. “He’s come from building luxury homes and apartments in Melbourne’s Bayside area, where he used the same recipe to get top results in his sales,” says Construction Director Luke Skurrie. “He’s been able to apply that same design principle to a more affordable product, offering value without compromising the integrity and style of the property.” Over the past 12 months, BPM has almost doubled in size since taking on new, larger-scale projects, moving from the boutique luxury apartment sector into larger architectural developments. “We have over 1600 apartments in the pipeline across Melbourne and Brisbane,” Luke says, “and it’s setting a benchmark in urban living.”
Unlike most developers in the market, the majority of BPM’s services, from design and sales to construction and finance, are delivered in-house. “In the service we provide, we can actually monitor every step of the process, and maintain the quality expected of our business,” explains Luke. In order to further expand its internal capabilities, BPM will soon be acquiring the management rights in a property management business with a hotel group. “It’s quite exciting,” Mr Skurrie says. “The more we can have under our banner, the easier it is for us to manage our process, and maintain the quality of the brand.”
The majority of BPM’s past projects have been boutique residential products in the Bayside region. Many such properties have featured lush, extensive gardens, necessitating a focus on rainwater collection and re-use. Integrated storage tanks were used both for landscape irrigation as well as to saving on the cost of water use during the property’s development. In recent years, many of BPM’s larger and more complex projects have been constructed using sustainable materials sourced through key suppliers, and feature solar powered hot water and rainwater re-use for toilet flushing.
One of BPM’s current projects, located on Neerim Road in Melbourne’s Carnegie area, has been the company’s most challenging contracts to date. The property, known as Walter, is a 5-storey apartment with 2 ½ levels of underground car parking. The basement, which is 4 metres below the water table, is designed as a submerged tank, negating the requirement to continually pump out the groundwater offsite. “It’s a challenge both in its design and construction,” says Luke. “We’ve never done a development like this in the past, and there are a lot of new construction techniques that we’re learning through our consultants and suppliers.” Designed by DKO Architecture, Walter is comprised of 48 apartments, and is due to be completed in early 2016.
In addition to the Walter project, BPM is currently underway with the development of Willim and Elske, two apartments of similar design, located in Carnegie and Caulfield South respectively. While Willim has 26 units and Elske has 14, both have one level of underground parking and 3 levels above ground. The projects are both due to be completed within the first half of this year. As well, slated to commence early this year is the Standard, a 113-unit development located on Bay Street in Brighton. Designed by Elenberg Frasier, with 2 levels of underground parking, 4 levels above ground, and a retail storefront, the Standard is the largest project the construction department has taken on.
BPM has been the recipient of an extensive array of national and international awards over the past 2 years. 2013 saw the business earn MBA’s Best Multi-Unit Development for its Flora Apartments project, as well as the Asia-Pacific Property Award both for Best Development Australasia and Best Agency Australasia. “It was great to receive those in the same year;” Luke says, “it shows the diversity within our business, with the construction arm, the development arm, and the agency all achieving amazing recognition.” In 2014, BPM won the APP award for Best Apartment Australia for its North Road Boulevard project, Best Interior Designed Apartment Australia for its Church Street Hill Apartment development, and the MBA Best Multi-Unit Development for 10 Andrews Street, a 13-unit development in Brighton.
Close relationships with industry bodies are of great importance to BPM, as they are an invaluable source of essential news and information, as well as business connections throughout the property sector. “It keeps us educated, and in such a fast-paced industry, it’s important to understand the trends and topics that are driving the market,” says Mr Skurrie. For BPM’s construction branch in particular, remaining abreast of new products and construction methods are imperative to ensuring that it is driving the market’s current trend, rather than simply keeping up with it. “We consider ourselves to be a leader in the marketplace,” Luke says, “and we want to be at the forefront of these new initiatives.”
Luke feels that one of the most critical issues regarding the future of the industry is the political uncertainty, at a federal level and at a state level. This transformation has added extra uncertainty in consumer confidence as well as planning risk. “At this stage, the market is still quite busy with the apartment surge, and it remains really positive,” he says. “At BPM, we’re extremely competitive within the marketplace, and provide a greater value to those buyers, and we’re very confident that we are positioned for a successful future within the industry.”
Luke Skurrie has worked as BPM’s Construction Director for the past 3 years, and has always had a strong passion for construction, taking great pride in the delivery of projects and the company’s success. “It’s a diverse business, and every day is something new,” he says. “Next year will be our biggest year to date in the construction arm, which is both exciting and important as we strive to continue to be a market leader in 2015, remaining innovative with our design and execution. It’s going to be another exciting step in our journey, particularly with the larger scale developments coming up.”