Nicholas Smedley is the managing director of Steller, a property development firm that specialises in building medium-density apartments that are suitable for owner-occupier families.
Can you tell us about what you do, and how you arrived at this point in your career?
I am the managing director of Steller, a Melbourne-based property development company specialising in medium-density apartments. We offer a fully-integrated service including construction, development and sales and we have now a funds management team.
I co-founded Steller with Simon Pitard in 2006 with the sole mission to provide quality, larger-format apartments at an accessible price point to the owner-occupier market. In my role I am constantly driving the company’s growth and expansion.
I have a background in corporate finance across a range of sectors in Australia and Hong Kong, where I specialised in mergers and aquisitions. Prior to Steller, I worked in roles with KPMG and UBS Investment Bank.
Why have you chosen to focus on medium-density developments?
We focus on medium-density developments that feature spacious apartments suitable for families. Our developments are targeted towards owner-occupiers, as we believe that people don’t want to buy, or live in, tiny sub-standard apartments. All of our apartments are all larger-format, with integrated kitchen and dining spaces and comfortable living areas.
What do you think are the key elements of a successful development?
The most important element of the development process for Steller is the planning stage. This is when we take the time to really consider how families can live in and make full use of the spaces.
Another key element of success has been the location of our developments. We choose land based on the proximity to public transport, schools, community centres and supermarkets and it has proven to be a key element for apartment buyers too.
What are you working on at the moment?
Steller is currently focusing on regentrifying pockets in Hampton, Highett, Bentleigh and Cheltenham. Our residential developments in these areas are Littlewood in Hampton, Dart Street in Highett, 2125 Nicholson in Bentleigh, Barker Maude and 11-19 Hall St in Cheltenham.
We also recently announced that we are enhancing the energy rating of all future developments to 6 stars or above. All Steller properties will incorporate a number of additional sustainble features including; more efficient lighting, double glazing, smarter architectural design to allow more natural light, solar panels, rainwater toilet flushing, concrete construction and many more.
Where do you live now?
I recently moved from Bentleigh to Hampton. I choose to live in the same area as our developments so I can immerse myself and my family in the local community.
What would be your dream home, anywhere in the world?
It is a dream of mine to live on a remote beach of Waiheke Island in New Zealand but I would be happy to settle on a quiet farm outside of Melbourne.
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