Bensons strikes Hobart record with prized development site in Battery Point

Elias and Colleen Jreissati at the Bensons Property Group Christmas Party at the Ian Potter Centre, Federation Square.

Bensons Property chairman Elias Jreissati and his wife Colleen.

Melbourne-based developer Bensons Property Group has charged into Hobart by snapping up a residential development site in Sullivans Cove in trendy Battery Point.

The group is planning to build a striking $50m apartment project that it hopes will become the city’s best with a penthouse to be offered for up to $10m that would smash records in Hobart.

The boutique project of just 30 apartments would have units starting at $1m but demand from locals is expected to be bolstered by mainland buyers looking for a luxury bolthole as they escape the coronavirus lockdowns.

The move by Bensons was driven by the company’s chairman and founder Elias Jreissati and wife Colleen, who want to add to the company’s luxury projects that include the $260m Chevron One on the Gold Coast and Liberty One, a $360m staged project at Footscray in Melbourne’s inner west.

The development site on the corner of Knopwood Street and Montpelier Retreat, Battery Point, spans 1442sq m, and was purchased for a record price for residential land in Hobart understood to be about $7m.

Bensons will submit revised plans to the council, which will include a public open space embedded with art created by Tasmanian artists, for the luxury apartment project.

The company believes its purchase creates the opportunity for the best development site in the exclusive suburb and will attract considerable interest from local and interstate buyers.

Completion of construction is expected in late 2023. The developer’s foray into the Tasmanian market follows its record of developing more than $2bn worth of residential projects along the eastern seaboard.

Bensons expects to open expressions of interest for the apartments later this year.

Chief executive Rick Curtis said the acquisition was a milestone for the developer.

“For many years both our group chairman and wife Colleen have travelled and lived in Hobart. It has been their second home and they love it.

“ Our intention with this incredible development opportunity is to create an oasis of luxury living, for our chairman and his family, and their new neighbours, to occupy in the most sought after location in Hobart.

“We will work closely with Hobart City Council and the local community to ensure that together, we create something that will add to the fabric of Hobart. This is very exciting in our history, which already has a track record for creating quality developments in the markets we occupy,’’ Mr Curtis said.

The Jreissati family also support the arts in Hobart and has commissioned a Tasmanian sculptor to produce a bronze statue for Levantine Hill, the family’s Yarra Valley winery.

“We are ongoing supporters of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, including lending a major piece of historical artwork to the gallery, which was a successful and important drawcard for the TMAG,’’ Mr Curtis said.