A Sydney-based developer has forked out $10 million to buy two nurseries, in a bid to ensure there is enough supply of plants to extensively landscape its residential property developments.
In a sign that consumer preferences are shifting, associate marketing manager of Romeciti Dan Tang recently told The Fifth Estate it all started with the enthusiastic reception of apartment buyers to extensive landscaping proposed at the company’s Natura development at Macquarie Park in north-west Sydney.
“As we were working on the project we realised we could go further with green, incorporating sustainable technology and passive green design,” Mr Tang said.
At first it was curiosity that drove ambition, “thinking about how to make the this project more exciting and liveable, and in the end people loved the idea and got very excited.”
The company is now upgrading the landscaping at Maida Green 1 project at Epping. In total the company has around 1000 apartments in its development pipeline in Epping, Top Ryde, Eastwood and Macquarie Park.
Interestingly the landscaping was upgraded after the sales.
“Maida Green 1 pretty much sold out then we upgraded the landscaping in both projects,” Mr Tang said.
“There were a lot of developers going into the Epping market and we wanted the people who bought in our projects to feel they paid well.
“We definitely wanted the projects to stand out.”
Part of the upgrading involved bringing in mature trees.
The two nurseries are at Camden and North Rock in Sydney. Camden Nursery, established 20 years ago, comprises about 17.5 hectares of land growing flowers, shrubs and greenery, supported by a large dam for water supply.
The purchase, he said, “has a lot to do with going further into the green aspect and it’s a move into a business model so we can have sufficient supply for our own developments and strengthen our ability to do green and create stunning landscapes.”
The landscape architect working with the company on Natura, Matthew Taylor from Taylor Brammer Landscape Architects, said the purchase of the two nurseries was “a critical realisation of the changing tastes and demands of the client base that values the overall environment and the role of nature in encouraging a sense of belonging and community”.
Design details include the “fine texture of plantings, modulation of the ground place and the interactive sculptural forms”.
“Natura represents to us a return to the values and appreciation of nature. We are very keen as designers on concepts of wellness and the inherent qualities that infers.”
The location of the site, along Shrimptons Creek, provides an ideal background of filtered light, Mr Taylor said.
The studio is now regularly incorporating productive gardens in proposals for residential developments, a spokesperson for Taylor Brammer said.
“It’s the way of the future.”