What to Expect From Development Design in 2019

At Central Element, our team’s expertise enables us to be a skilled developer with broad capabilities. Our integrated model means that our team covers every phase of the development process, from acquisitions, planning and design, through to marketing, and development management. Simply put, our commitment to our customers means that we are there at every point. We caught up with some of our team to ask them to share their wisdom as to trends this year and what the trends for next year will be. Here they detail their insights:



“This year we have seen a significant transition from developers wanting to deliver large scale ‘investor’ products to developers wanting to deliver boutique ‘downsizer/owner occupier’ product in blue-chip suburbs. Also, traditional residential developers are trending towards alternate asset classes and longer-term investment/ land banking for the next upturn in the residential cycle.”
– Alex Rodakis, Acquisitions Manager


Throughout this year, we have seen through our downsizer customers that they see the value in high-quality developments that allow them to continue living in their same community. 80% of the enquiries into our latest development, The Malton in Beecroft, have come from within 2km of the development, and all buyers have been from within this radius. Developments like The Malton, which afford a convenient, “lock up and go” lifestyle with all the luxuries downsizers are accustom to is what our customers want.

In 2019, Central Element will continue to deliver high end owner occupier stock as well as expanding into hotel developments as an alternate asset class.


“What development trend will be big in 2019? Increased customisation, although at Central Element we don’t really see it as a ‘trend’, but as a necessity and something we love to offer our purchasers. Every development, we push the project team to increase the range of customisation options available to purchasers; we cover all areas from sustainability, offering the option to install solar panels to luxury features like bespoke lighting plans, integrated outdoor BBQ kitchenettes, integrated custom joinery, wine cellars and fireplaces.”
– Nathan Chivas, Development Director


“Customisation, although at Central Element we don’t really see it as a ‘trend’, but as a necessity and something we love to offer our purchasers. Every development, we push the project team to increase the range of customisation options available to purchasers”


Whether it’s reconfiguring apartments, adding extra storage, organising for bespoke windows to be installed, or even letting purchasers choose where every individual light switch or electrical points should go, Central Element is focused on providing customisation options designed to suit your specific needs. Our development managers spend hours with certain buyers to be as flexible as possible and to show them exactly how we can customise their residences. For 2019, customisation won’t just be a trend at Central Element – it’s our guarantee.

People-Centric Design

“Throughout the past 12 months and now particularly moving forward into 2019, there is an apparent trend within design and architecture for more ‘people-centric design’. Central Element is actively leading this trend through their recent developments as this broader idea is being explored throughout the industry.”
– Benjamin Knowles, Design Leader


The requirement of the ‘Design Excellence’ process, originally established by the City of Sydney in 2000 is starting to become more adopted and proposed by other local government areas, including Willoughby Council, which have proposed it as part of their 2017 ‘Chatswood CBD Planning and Urban Design Strategy’. The objective of ‘Design Excellence’ is to promote through a competitive design process, an opportunity and forum for design practices to challenge the status quo free of regular project restrictions – targeting more effective “people-centric design”.

Our 2019 Coogee development will demonstrate our commitment to people-centric design


People-centric design is something which Central Element actively considers in all new developments, identifying opportunities to create better developments by promoting health and wellness. Some of the current design strategies we are pursuing include designing developments that promote active movement, curating developments to promote and instill a sense of community, and providing flexible, creative solutions that allow spaces to evolve over time to reflect the individual’s requirements.

By considering more than simply how a building is designed and operates, and seeking to understand how the building physically exists within the broader urban fabric, sustainability is being seen by design practices as a key avenue through which people-centric design can be effectively achieved. Central Element will continue its people-centric design focus in 2019.  For example, our most recently formed project team for our Coogee development includes an “environmentally sustainable design consultant” demonstrating our commitment to sustainable, people-centric design in 2019.

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