Vincent Cheng is looking for a $1.5 million first home and he has his sights fixed on the high-rise heaven at Zetland in Sydney’s inner south.
“I love this suburb very much,” the 26-year-old finance and accounting graduate said, looking back towards the city from the terrace of the ninth-floor three-bedroom penthouse that was set for auction on Saturday.
“I’ve looked around Randwick, Moore Park, Mascot, and Rosebery, but nothing compares with this.”
One of the highlights is the new East Village Shopping Centre, although Mr. Cheng wishes there were more shops.
“I’m looking forward to it being expanded, with perhaps a Kmart or Big W and some more restaurants,” he said.
The five-level complex, which opened in October 2014, has become the “heartbeat” of the community, developer Payce boasts on its website.
The “one-of-a-kind retail and lifestyle experience” was inspired by New York’s Chelsea Market and Barcelona’s La Boqueria and has a huge Coles, a health club, a medical center and 50 specialty shops and restaurants alongside an Audi showroom.
Previously, it was a commercial desert.
Experts are confident the shopping center is helping boost property values.
“There will be increased growth in Zetland,” Domain Group senior economist Dr. Andrew Wilson said.
“It’s developing its own unique characteristics as a neighborhood, and part of that is the high level of quality residential infrastructure, such as the major shopping center, which differentiates it from other high-rise developments closer into the city.”
Retirees Peter and Vivna Saxton bought a residence there off the plan in 2011.
“When my wife said to me ‘Zetland’, four years ago, I immediately thought ‘no way’ – my perception was it was an industrial area and it sort of sounded like the back end of Newcastle,” Mr. Saxton said.
But within “a minute” of seeing the promised center and facilities, he no longer needed convincing.
“Particularly for younger people, it is fantastic, vibrant and there is a lot happening and a fair every Saturday morning.”
Payce assets manager Ali Seminary estimates 500,000 people now visit the center each month.
“Retailers used to ask: ‘There are all these apartments, but where are the people?’
“There has been a big shift in consumer habits in a short period of time.”
It has apparently also been a lucrative period for anchor tenant Coles, which Payce said has recorded a profit since October.
“There are around 2500 apartments in the immediate vicinity, so anywhere from 18,000 to 20,000 people live around here, and we are not a center where they just do their grocery shop for $250 once a week,” Mr. Semawy said.
With him gaining permanent residency in December 2014, his Shanghai-based parents were also happy to help him financially.
“My parents are currently doing some investments in China, but they’re looking to move to Australia in five or 10 years’ time,” he said.