The best locations, the best products
Ignite Projects is a Gold Coast-based property development company seeking to elevate coastal living. Over the past few years, they have focused their attention on three luxury apartments, with 2 of these easily considered extremely high-end – ‘Periscope’ was completed in 2019, ‘Cabana’ is under construction now, and ‘The Monaco’ commenced construction recently. All three buildings are in highly-coveted locations, and they were all conceived to offer residents “remarkable innovation” and “unforgettable quality,” according to Josh Foote, Managing Director.
“They are all high end, high quality products in high quality locations,” Josh says. “With each of them, our goal has been to push the boundaries and raise the bar in the Gold Coast.”
Josh has been working in development for roughly 20 years, both in New Zealand and Australia. Roughly 10 years ago, he moved to the Gold Coast and founded Ignite Projects in collaboration with fellow director Gary Gordon. Initially, they started with a small land subdivision in order to test the waters and get a feel for the local market. That project fully sold out fairly quickly, and Josh and Gary rolled the profits onto their next project, which was a multi-residential apartment in Palm Beach.
That first multi-res project – Periscope, on 1265 Gold Coast Highway in Palm Beach – set a high standard that Ignite Projects wanted to exceed with every subsequent endeavour.
“Now that we’ve set such high expectations for quality, we believe we have to live up to them,” Josh explains. “But that’s fine with us. We’re getting very good at delivering that quality. We’re getting very good at finding the best locations and selling the best product.”
These days, when evaluating an opportunity, Ignite Projects first looks for beachfront property. They want to build projects that are either “on the sand or close to it,” Josh says.
Just as importantly, Ignite Projects is looking for opportunities where they can deliver boutique units, but at a larger scale. The Monaco, for example, is 25-storeys tall, and has only 24 apartments. Cabana, meanwhile, has only 30 apartments over nine storeys, all facing directly to the ocean.
“We’ve always been boutique, and we want to stay that way,” Josh says. “That’s our niche. We like working with owner-occupiers and with people who prefer a high standard of finish. That’s what we’re really good at delivering.”
Each of Ignite’s projects has their own unique points of difference – but what they all have in common, according to Josh, is an “extreme attention to detail.”
“That’s something I’m extremely particular about,” he explains. “Every single element of our building is carefully considered by our team during the design phase. We critique everything we do to ensure that it’s practical, that it’s going to look good, and that it can be delivered – because it’s one thing to design something, but if a builder can’t build it, there’s no point.”
“I have a construction background,” he adds. “So I have a good understanding of what you can and can’t do. I make sure that what we’re selling is what we’re actually going to deliver.”
Josh is also passionate about technology and automation, and that’s something that recent Ignite projects have in common. For example, instead of having a concierge at the door, their buildings incorporated a digital concierge service, which was developed in Melbourne. With that system, which is entirely app-based, residents can perform a wide variety of functions: they can control their CCTV and their air conditioning; they can unlock the doors allow guests in; they can monitor their power consumption; they can book the building’s steam room; the list goes on.
Ignite has also responded to the growing “electric vehicle (EV) charging dilemma,” Josh says. Most buildings in the world won’t have the capacity to charge the future predicted volume of EVs, but Ignite is working on a system that will be able to resolve that challenge. Even if every resident of their building drives an electric car, they want to be able to accommodate them.
The company also wants their buildings to stand out in other ways. In fact, Josh says their goal is give every project a “true point of difference.”
For example, when they started developing The Monaco, it initially included a 25-storey car elevator, so residents could drive their car right into their apartment. That was the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and earned the project a lot of publicity.
With Cabana, meanwhile, the company decided to spread their pool across the beachfront. All the comparable developments were hiding their pools on the back or side of the building, but Josh and his team decided they wanted to create the feel of a “beachfront resort.”
“That’s a real luxury,” Josh says. “None of the other products on the market have that. We wanted to do something different, something unexpected.”
At the same time, Ignite Projects also strives to deliver features that customers do expect. For instance, with the prevalence of lockdowns, almost all buyers want offices in their apartments so they can work from home. Ignite has recognised that need, and they have made sure that every unit they are delivering includes space for residents to work.
“We know that we can’t tell the market what people want,” Josh says. “We have to know the market, and then we have to give people what they expect. Our projects are extremely considered in that respect.”
Ignite’s projects are also extremely well-built. Again, that starts with Josh personally making sure the designs are functional and buildable. From there, the quality is a result of the high-calibre of the company’s consultants and builders.
“We’ve very selective in our partners,” he says. “They have to meet very high standards, and they have to work with us closely and collaboratively. We’ve filtered out a number of partners because they were slow to respond, or they couldn’t meet our standards.”
When it comes to builders, in particular, Ignite Projects is adamant about working with companies with strong track records. Building partners have to have already proven their ability to deliver to the quality standard that Ignite expects. They also have to have strong financial backing, considering the value and scale of Ignite’s buildings.
On their current projects, Ignite is working with McNab and Hutchinson Builders – two of the few companies on the Gold Coast that meet Ignite’s stringent criteria. Josh says that Ignite’s relationship with both companies is strong, and that both are performing to the company’s high expectations.
Keeping up the quality
Ignite Projects’ latest building is The Monaco, located at 2-4 Macarthur Parade, Main Beach. It comprises an exclusive collection of palatial full-floor and half-floor luxury villas. It was designed by award-winning architects, Rothelowman, and every unit features uninterrupted views of the stunning coastline and The Southport Yacht Club.
One of the more unique selling points of The Monaco is how customizable it is.
“Every floor of the 25 storeys will be unique. Every single apartment will be unique. Every kitchen will be entirely different,” Josh explains. “That’s something I have never heard of before in Australia. We decided to do that because the average apartment was valued at near $5 million. At that price point, people expect a level of customization.”
“Instead of us telling the buyer what their kitchen had to look like, we’re offering a concierge service and a kitchen designer. The buyer signs the contract, then they sit down with the kitchen designer, they design their own kitchen, and we have it custom built and delivered for them.”
The Monaco buyers can also make other significant decisions, Josh explains:
“We go through the floor plans with them. Do they want three bedrooms or four? Where do they want their living room? Where should the walls be? We completely customize the unit.”
“From the developer’s perspective, that’s very complicated,” he adds. “But the buyers absolutely love it. They have really embraced that. They have become our biggest advocates at sales functions. You couldn’t find happier people. They’re literally getting a custom home in an apartment, which no one else is offering.”
The Monaco is now over three-quarters sold out. Construction commenced in September.
Cabana, meanwhile, sold out in just six weeks – “record time,” according to Josh. Construction is due to be completed, ahead of schedule, by Christmas of next year.
Looking ahead, Ignite Projects has no intention on slowing down. They are currently looking at two more sites, one in the south of the Gold Coast and one on the north. Both are unique locations, and Ignite’s plan is to deliver to them similarly high-end and large-scale projects as Cabana and The Monaco.
“We have a standard that we plan to stick to,” Josh says. “Beachfront buildings with a really high level of finish – that’s our model, and it obviously works. We want to come up fresh ideas and deliver something unique each time, but we don’t want to change up our quality. We want to keep our quality right on the cutting edge.”
For more on Ignite Projects, their past and present developments, their values, and their team – and to follow the company on social media, including Facebook and Instagram – visit https://www.igniteprojects.net.au/