The Tempe Apartment Block That Got Australia’s Biggest Builder Harry Triguboff Started In 1963

Celebrating its 50th year, Meriton Apartments’ origins can be traced back to 1963 when clerk Harry Triguboff built his first block of units in the Sydney suburb of Tempe.

It was a two-storey walk-up block of eight on Smith Street.

Triguboff, in partnership with Thomas Gluck, paid Σ3400 for the land holding just close to the Ikea store that dominates the precinct.

Within eight months, the block of flats had sold for Σ25,500.

His second development followed in Gladesville in 1968 where on Meriton Street, he built a block of 18 units which gave rise to the name of the company he registered in 1968. It’s not known when he was first dubbed "Highrise Harry."

It arose because Triguboff has evolved into one of Australia’s most successful property developers completing an estimated 50,000 residential dwellings.

Triguboff has concentrated on the Sydney market with the occasional foray into the Gold Coast and, more recently, Brisbane.

In 2004, Meriton completed the construction of World Tower, Sydney’s tallest residential apartment building.

The Smith Street block sold again in 1969 for $59,500 and was turned into a strata block in the 1980s after being traded at $240,000 in 1982.

The last unit sale in the Smith Street block was a one bedroom $245,500 last year. The 31-square-metre unit had first sold in 1988 at $55,000, reflecting 6.4% annual growth. It was then available for rent at $320 a week, reflecting a 6.7% gross yield.

The block’s highest sale was $352,500 in 2010. It was a 52-square-metre two bedroom unit first sold in 1985 for $50,000, thereby reflecting 8.1% annual growth over the 25-year period.

Article by Jonathan Chancellor
published online at Property Observer

Click here to read the full article as well as view photographs of Harry Triguboff’s first apartment block.

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