Kelvin Grove is a vibrant place with a European feel, attracting residents and investors, writes David Aubrey.

Whilst most new inner city urban renewal areas are launched amid a fanfare of bells and whistles, the opening of the $150 million Kelvin Grove Village Centre in 2006 blended seamlessly into the community.

Located just 2kms from the CBD, Kelvin Grove until the turn of the 21st century, was a hilly suburb of mostly post-war workers cottages, 1970s apartment buildings and home to a major campus of Queensland University of Technology.

Recognising its strategic location, large expanse of vacant land and its increasing importance as an education hub, the Queensland State Government invested over $150 million to assist in the creation of a new urban village within the burgeoning number of educational precincts including a Creative Industries Precinct, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation and International College for overseas students.

The Village Centre, anchored by a full service Woolworths and comprising of numerous specialty stores and restaurants, has become a vibrant new urban area.That vibrancy along with proximity to QUT is what attracted Danish student Helena Frostrup.

“It is so friendly and the restaurants are good. It really feels like a university town in Europe,” says Frostrup.

That European village feel may be something to do with Kelvin Grove having a young population. Its median age of 27 is ten years below the national average. Keith Fielding is typical of the young urban professionals who work in the CBD. Having rented there as a student, the 29-year-old lawyer recently bought his first apartment in the Village.

“Being so close to the city and offering new apartments for less than $350,000 it was too good to miss,” said the first home buyer.

Developer CS Development Group understand the dynamics of the area more than most, having developed an upscale seven apartment project and a larger fifty five apartment project called Park Edge on Tank Street. With Park Edge successfully sold, the developer has begun construction on the nearby Victoria Park Residences designed for the owner/occupier and the investor.

Colliers International’s residential director Andrew Roubicek says it is great value.

“In terms of architectural appeal, product design, inclusions, size, price and location we believe it is the best value apartment project in the area.”

Victoria Park Residences comprise of 118 apartments with one beds from $343,000 and two beds from $469,000. Development is due to be completed in mid-2015.

With Kelvin Grove being among the six top performing Brisbane suburbs in RPdata’s latest Suburb Statistics Report, investors are taking notice of this inner city location that quietly achieves without making a noise like the current ‘hotspots’ of South Brisbane and Fortitude Valley.