Coming from a family of property investors and developers, Raghav Goel developed an interest in property from an early age. Keen to get established as a developer, Goel began his own business in his third year of an economics degree. He and some friends pooled their money, bought a block of land, and developed it themselves.
Today, nine years later, Goel has completed six residential developments, and has another six in the pipeline.
How did you get into property development?
It started with a two townhouse development. The confidence to start my own business came easily as I was exposed to it at a very young age. My father ran a large business and always invested in property and my grandfather is a resort developer.
Why do you think you were so focused so young?
I really enjoyed the work. Even as a teenager I would get excited seeing progress on new infrastructure or buildings in the area.
I think it’s also easier to be focussed when it’s your own business, as you don’t really have a choice.
Can you tell us briefly about the projects you’re working on at the moment?
We’ve got six projects on the go at the moment, all in different stages. HighWood is a 36 town-home development in Ringwood and is close to completion. We were keen to create something that would stand the test of time. Each home has been individually designed by the architects and it’s set up around the eventual green canopy cover we needed to achieve. The site has a slope of over 20 meters, so it’s been an extremely challenging project for everyone involved.
Balaclava Residences has just gone to market and it’s only four residences aimed at the owner occupier. The interesting thing we were able to achieve here was ground floor living and outdoor kitchens which is quite rare in inner city developments. The internal finishes have been considered to the extent of the door handle selections, so we’re hoping it’ll be a benchmark project.
The Workshop is going to market soon - 11 lofts in Collingwood. It's such a unique part of Melbourne, so we were keen to do something genuinely unique and also respect the heritage of the area. We achieved this by almost exclusively collaborating with people in Collingwood - the architect, interior designer, engineer, marketing and most other consultants are all locals. We ended up with lofts that have 5m double–height spaces, split level with polished concrete floors and exposed ceilings.
The other three in planning stage at the moment are also townhouse developments in Berwick, Donvale and Richmond. I’m personally really excited about the Richmond one as I lived in the suburb for close to 10 years and moved away only recently.
You’ve completed six residential developments to date - does one stand out as your favourite?
It would have to be the first project we did, which was two townhouses in Chadstone. It was the biggest risk of my life but luckily everything went as per plan. We’re still working with most if not all the people who were involved in that project.
Oz Property Group is now focused on medium-density townhouses, do you see this sector gaining in popularity in 2017?
I think it will, as smaller projects have always created more value in the long term. Most apartment buildings going up in the city have almost nothing for owner occupiers and a lot of people are frustrated with the lack of quality available in the market. The prices achieved at auctions for terraces and houses confirms this. So medium density and smaller scale projects simply make sense, as you can offer considered spaces that are appropriate for the demand in that location.
Where do you live now?
In Melbourne’s inner east.
Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world?
Honestly I wouldn’t want to live anywhere other than Melbourne. Our immediate family is actually split between three continents, so my wife and I end up spending a fair bit of time overseas, but it always feels great coming back to Melbourne.
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