Astute apartment owners in Darling Point are creating larger homes by amalgamating two (or even three) adjoining apartments into one oversized residence.

For an established area like ours, it’s a clever way of gaining more living space without compromising on the coveted Darling Point lifestyle.

Turning two (or three) apartments into one

There’s a sense that if you want to live in Darling Point and enjoy its priceless location and cosmopolitan lifestyle, you’ll have to compromise on space. While there are larger, 3 bedroom and penthouse apartments available, a growing number of Darling Point residents are turning the idea of smaller units upside down with apartment amalgamation. Owners are acquiring two, or sometimes three, adjoining apartments and then combining them into one large residence to create a home with the kind of space you’d only expect to find in a house in the suburbs.

In an area like Darling Point, where the residential buildings are well established and already at their maximum heights, apartment amalgamation is one way forward. It gives blocks with smaller units a new lease on life, and in prestige buildings, it leads to the creation of large and luxurious world-class apartments.

With many buyers, particularly downsizers, looking for larger apartments, these combined residences often sell for a premium. Buyers who once might have been turned off apartment living due to concerns about space are now seeking out amalgamated apartments or those with the potential to do so. Of course, we’re also seeing apartments sell to neighbours as owners seek to expand their property’s floor space.

What’s the process?

Once an owner has acquired two adjoining Darling Point apartments – either next door or one above the other – the amalgamation needs to be approved by Woollahra Council and the building’s owners’ corporation. After consent has been granted, the process can be as simple as installing a door between the two apartments or as transformational as carrying out an architect-designed renovation.

Many strata schemes look favourably upon apartment consolidation for several reasons. It reduces the number of people in the building, which means less wear and tear on common areas. It can lead to fewer but more focused owners in the building, who are often more active in the running of the strata scheme. And ultimately, the building itself, with its large, premium apartments, is considered more exclusive and desirable, which increases the value of all the units in the building, therefore benefitting all the owners.

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Apartment amalgamation success stories in Darling Point

Apartment amalgamations have become so commonplace in Darling Point and the surrounding suburbs that some buildings have laid out guidelines for owners on how to go about it.

Given that even three-bedroom apartments are somewhat scarce in Darling Point, many more owners are thinking about consolidating so they can enjoy the Darling Point lifestyle without compromising on space.

Prestigious buildings like Longwood and Hopewood Gardens on Thornton Street both have several combined apartments. On the same street, Thornton Place has many amalgamated units including 11a & 11b, 12a & 12b, 18a & 18b, 19a & 19b, 20a & 20b, and in Retford Hall the whole 14th floor was recently offered for sale.

Owners in the luxury building Ranelagh, at 3 Darling Point Road, with its magnificent harbour and city views, are beginning to acquire neighbouring apartments as the building undergoes a major upgrade. So too are residents in the waterfront buildings like Santina (units 15 & 16 sold in 2020) and Yarranabbe Gardens (with units 708 & 709 which recently went to auction) on Yarranabbe Road.

My team and I help many owners buy and sell neighbouring apartments and amalgamated residences in Darling Point. If you have any questions about apartment consolidation or are thinking of buying or selling here, please always feel free to contact me at any time.