Serviced apartments opinions

Serviced apartments opinions

My name is Peter Kelly and we started running serviced apartments here at NewQuay from September 2002 through to October 2005 and again between May 2009 to the present.

Under our management, we have worked in the first instance with 200 apartment owners and the second instance 65, so we have many years experience in running serviced apartments here at NewQuay and at Watergate in the early days.

Your correspondent Gil King (Letters to the Editor, August 2012 Docklands News) moved in 18 months ago and stated that he was not aware of the serviced apartment issue.

Well, there wasn’t an “issue” when they moved in. It has only become an “issue” due to some who have taken it upon themselves to get rid of this investment option.

The latest issue with the Melbourne City Council at Watergate is completely different and has been brought upon by a poorly performing operator.

The ramifications to Dockland investors or owner-occupiers, if successful, will have a huge damaging effect on the value of their properties.

Likewise, if retailers and restaurants lost the business that serviced apartments bring they will surely fail as it is only because of these guests that the NewQuay businesses survive.

I can assure you Mr King if the restaurants or the IGA relied on residents they would go broke very quickly because all businesses acknowledge that locals don’t frequent their businesses as well as they would like them to.

Gil also claims that Paul Salter’s comments amuse him.  Well Gil, I can assure you that we have had only two instances where parties have been reported to us by security or fellow residents and we have stepped on the problem immediately – and that is with 265 apartments in six years. Not bad, eh?

We have run a very tight ship so far as taking security bonds is concerned and we have found that this deters most trouble-makers. Sure, we have noise complaints but once Mon Jon Security or our staff knock on their door the noise stops immediately.

I have never experienced, nor have I had reported to me, any instance of obscene language or drunks in lobbies or lifts as he suggests.

I agree that specialty-built towers for serviced apartments would be the ideal, but MAB developed NewQuay as they did with serviced apartments as an investment option and many investors have chosen that choice. The Conder, for example, was sold off the plan – with that being the prominent option to investors

The serviced apartment operators here at NewQuay are very responsible and I would suggest that they have helped contribute to the success of the area.

To suggest that serviced apartments have reduced the value of his property is just foolish and I truly believe if these businesses were banned you would really see a drop in the value.

Finally, all of the aggressive and silly comments outlined in the letter do nothing to assist with the problem that he says he encounters.

To the suggestion of the threat of negative impact, I say open your eyes Mr King and see NewQuay without the 1000 visitors a day that the serviced apartment operators bring to NewQuay.

Serviced apartments were here well before you Mr King – in fact, 10 years earlier. So maybe you should have done some homework before buying into NewQuay.

An honest view from the other side.

Peter Kelly                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Docklands Private Collection


Paper can link people

I have now lived in Docklands for one year.

The Docklands News arrives in my mail slot every month, and reminds me that I am part of an emerging community.  This newspaper plays an important role in local development – and I want to help.  I have conducted an analysis of historical Docklands News issues and would like to share my findings.

Docklands News provides great coverage of businesses, government activities and upcoming events.  It regularly delivers a broad range of articles, advertisements and images to connect the reader with local dining, entertainment, community services, real estate, charity and sport opportunities.  The paper also successfully tailors content towards the young adult demographic which is so prevalent throughout Docklands.

However, reading Docklands News with the view of it being a tool for community development, it is clear there could be more emphasis placed on the environment, spiritualism and health. The paper could take on the role of nurturing the community by identifying avenues for the residents to grow personally.

This could be delivered by incorporating an employment section, increasing advertisements for religious groups and educational opportunities and including more articles promoting green living and wellbeing. 

If Docklands News can assist readers to grow into healthier, more successful, more responsible, and more balanced individuals, this can be translated into a more vibrant, interactive and successful community. 

Docklands News can promote opportunities for residents to connect with each other and combine their individual strengths for the benefit of the community. 

This could be delivered through offering a classifieds section, advertising volunteer opportunities and providing more coverage of social and purpose-driven groups.

My final observation, as a new resident to the area, is that things are hard to find! Unit this, laneway that, street extensions, road works, constructions, etc.

Whilst Docklands News can introduce readers to various locations around town, it can often be difficult to find exactly where they are.  

The problem could be solved with a local map included in each issue of the paper.  A key could identify the location of any businesses, services, groups or landmarks covered in that month’s issue.

All that being said, there is no argument Docklands News is a successful and interesting media outlet. But I believe their role as a powerful agent for community development should not be overlooked. 



Hear, hear Gil

Thank you for your continued coverage of the short-term accommodation issue.

It is a very important issue to us long-term residents as articulated by Gil King’s letter in issue 78.

To Gil, thank you so much for explaining the issue so well. As both an owner-occupier and investor in Docklands for the past seven years in NewQuay, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

My partner and I completely concur with all your points about short-term accommodation and also found Mr Salter’s ignorance both comical and infuriating.

Perhaps us long-term residents should invest in the neighbouring properties around Mr Salter where we would be free to holiday with 14 of our mates, congregating outside his front gate, lost, looking for reception, banging our luggage against his doorways, conversing loudly outside his window and then throwing our stubbies over his fence, while parked across his driveway?

That is a snap-shot of living amongst short-term apartments, something we experience all too often.  

We are now the only residents on our floor, one of eight apartments.  

In such close living spaces, trust, respect and security are paramount.

Since the influx of serviced apartments this has decreased immensely along with the number of people who we consider our neighbours.

We have seen thousands of faces walk our corridors, yet we can probably count on one hand those who we built a rapport with.

And it is this very important point in this debate, one we are yet to hear mentioned in the public forum. Community.

We hear a lot about building a Docklands community, but how can us residents do so when we are surrounded by a transient population, a sub-set of which shows no respect for our neighborhood or our homes. Why should I as a resident who chooses to live in a residential apartment miss out on the benefits of feeling as part of a community?

It’s about time that we all got real about serviced apartments and used some common sense. Short-term apartments and long-term residents don’t mix. The solution put forward by Mr King is the only way forward. We too agree that there is a place for serviced apartments, and that is within their own buildings.

Alex Sosa

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May 29th, 2024 - Docklands News
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