Luxury Developments in Prime Locations

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-By Robert Hoshowsky

Since it was established in 1995, CEEJ Developments has evolved into one of Victoria’s premier property specialists with a focus on residential developments and residential land subdivisions throughout the state. Maintaining a strong philosophy – “developing property for the enhancement of all” – the company works closely with leading town planners, architects, consultants, designers and others to create projects in desirable areas which appreciate in value, and are in harmony with the needs and expectations of growing communities in Victoria.

CEEJ Managing Director Michael Biviano states that much of the privately-owned company’s success comes from the many successful relationships it has fostered over the years with like-minded partners in real estate, construction, development and other key areas. These alliances have resulted in the creation of a successful company with widespread interests ranging from townhouses in Brunswick, Canterbury, South Yarra and Mt Waverley, to estates in Wonthaggi, Morwell, Inverloch, Trafalgar, Traralgon and Sale. Leading the initiatives are Mr Biviano and a dedicated staff of eight, including longtime business partner and friend Vincent Giagnorio, who serves as CEEJ’s Business Development Manager.

Prior to founding CEEJ 17 years ago, Mr Biviano spent many years engaging in all aspects of the nation’s property industry. As a licensed agent and auctioneer, Michael owned and operated a number of successful real estate businesses before founding CEEJ, worked as a consultant for several real estate companies, and served as a staff trainer. Today in his role as MD at the company, he serves a number of important functions. Along with liaising with relevant professionals and authorities, he oversees other front-end operations, such as construction, monitoring market sales and market activity, and most important of all, locating suitable sites for development and determining their feasibility.

With years of related experience, a trained eye for up and coming residential areas, and a knack for allying himself with talented and ambitious people, Mr Biviano met his business equal in the mid-1990s when he did a market evaluation on the home of Vincent Giagnorio. “He was very gung-ho, and said, “˜You and I are going to go into business together,’ says Mr Biviano. “We had a connection right away.” At the time, Mr Biviano had his own real estate office, while Mr Giagnorio had a successful business involved in printing, graphic design and multimedia. The newly-formed partners decided to maintain their existing businesses from 1995 to about 2001, while building CEEJ at the same time. “We centered our attention on an in-depth research and analysis of the ever shifting markets,” Michael says. “Only when we had sufficient information did we go on full flight in 2001.” As part of their strategy, the duo set about landbanking sections of Victoria they believed would meet specific benchmarks, namely solid capital growth, good potential population growth, and places where the government would be investing in infrastructure.

“We were doing a little prospecting, analysing, researching, and purchasing,” says Mr Biviano of the company, which has benefitted from his experience and that of Mr Giagnorio. As Business Development Manager for CEEJ, Vincent has brought a wealth of valuable insight and experience to the company. Along with proven leadership qualities and a high degree of knowledge of Victoria’s property sector, he is responsible for many of the fundamentals necessary to the continued success of CEEJ, including sourcing suppliers for construction and development, planning and coordination of construction projects, preparing feasibility studies, attending to the company’s financial needs, and working closely with pivotal parties – including local planners, councils, surveyors, engineers, architects and contractors – for the entire duration of a project.

With a total staff of eight, CEEJ may be small in comparison to some other Victoria-based property developers, but this has enabled the company to be able to react better to variables in the market than many other companies. “We hire professionals on the basis of the nature and purpose of the development projects,” says the company’s MD who, along with Mr Giagnorio, hires the best people available in key positions, namely accounting, administration, and executive assistance. In addition, the company has others who assist on a consultancy basis, relationships with three architectural firms in Melbourne, and a core of experienced engineers and surveyors who work with CEEJ. With the concentrated strength that rivals that of top-heavy organisations with staff numbers of 35 or more, CEEJ maintains a prolific output, while keeping office and day to day operational costs low.

“We have three rules in our office: have fun, be nice, and don’t whine,” says Mr Biviano, laughing. “Unity is important in our organisation, and it is for this reason that our staff meets three times a week and we work closely with our people on the ground level.”

With a successful track record of over 1,000 high-quality completed homes, CEEJ specialises in creating well-designed townhouses and estates in prime regional and urban development locations. With the overarching philosophy of “developing property for the enhancement of all,” the company has developed stunning showcase properties in a variety of locales. By acquiring prime residential sites in premium areas, CEEJ is renowned for innovative homes in growing areas with appreciating property values.

“The decision of what and when to develop is dictated by the strength of a given market,” states Mr Biviano. “What usually keeps us awake at night is accurately projecting the capital growth in this ever changing market.” Victoria, certainly, remains an attractive option, and at present, CEEJ has four subdivisions in country Victoria, anticipated development of a 350-unit apartment in Sunshine, and a six level apartment development in St. Kilda.

With a solid track record, the company has produced a number of highly desirable developments over the years, including subdivisions in the Gippsland Region and upmarket homes in Southeast Melbourne. Some of the firm’s past land projects include Jacobs Park. Situated in the heart of Wonthaggi, the fully serviced 68 lot subdivision was designed to provide low density residential living with large allotments. Other successful sites, like the 25 lot residential subdivision Madison Park, were scouted well ahead of time for their prime location. Just 1.2 km from the centre of Wonthaggi, the residential development is fully serviced with underground power, sewerage, footpaths and underground drainage. Popular with families and retired couples, the development sold out quickly.

The company has also created a number of luxurious town residences over the years. Showpiece estates, like Heany Street in the gorgeous suburb of Mt Waverley, are architecturally designed masterpieces, a blend of high-quality finishes and fittings combined with 5-star energy ratings to provide a luxurious standard of living crafted for today’s environmentally-conscious lifestyles. Other past projects – such as Park Lane, Grenfell Road, and Virginia Street in Mt Waverley – reside in prime locations, and boast expansive and well-designed interior spaces, extensive use of brick and stone, landscaped gardens, open kitchens, three bedrooms, spacious living areas, large garages and storage facilities, and more.

Today, CEEJ has a number of new sites in the planning stages and under construction, including master-planned communities in Traralgon, Trafalgar, Sale, and the Bass Coast suburb of Inverloch. Some, like The Strand Estate, are fully masterplanned regional communities of 300 fully serviced blocks. Situated in Gippsland, The Strand is in Traralgon, set amongst a regional oasis of tree-lined streets and spacious, landscaped reserves, yet close to the commercial, industrial and administrative heart of Victoria’s Southeast, The Strand is a mere 1.7 km from Traralgon’s town centre – near enough to daily amenities.

Along with The Strand, CEEJ is behind Brindlewood Park, Woondella Residential Estate, and Mountain Grey Rise. With high demand (Stages 1 to 4 of Brindlewood Park are already sold out, with Stage 5 anticipated for later this tear), residents can live in affordable luxury. Amenities include private walkways and footpaths, ideal for residents with children who can access the nearby school without having to leave the Estate. Others, like the 194 residential allotments at Woondella Residential Estate – nestled in the South Western residential corridor of Sale on Sale Maffra Road – are picture-perfect communities which embrace today’s standards of living while respecting the history of the area, with an impressive entrance statement, attractive street lighting, parkland, reserves, and recreational areas. Mountain Grey Rise, located in the heart of Morwell on McMillian Street, is close to shopping centres, schools, and Monash University’s Gippsland campus, and is ideal for family living.

“The market is constantly changing with what’s required and what’s desired,” says Mr Biviano. “In some situations, lack of prompt action might translate to a market slipping through your fingers.”

Through these and other projects, such as the 25 contemporary residences at the bayside suburb of Mentone, and The Crescent, three architecturally-designed 3-bedroom townhouses at the Bass Coast suburb of Inverloch – CEEJ continually offers its many clients the finest living experience imaginable. With a solid design and review process in place, the company’s staff take the time to explain the entire building process to clients, answer any questions they may have, and keep them up to date on developments.

“We make sure that our messages are regular, short, and concise,” states Mr Biviano. “By building solid relationships with everyone we deal with – from our clients to designers, consultants, and craftspeople – CEEJ has propelled to great heights.”

Home Automation

Call it ‘domotics,’ and you are likely to receive a blank stare, but refer to it as ‘smart home’ or ‘home automation,’ and you will get a nod of acknowledgement. For the past few years, consumers have heard the word ‘smart’ attached to countless products and services, from food and drink to snacks like popcorn and mobile phones, which no one seems to refer to as a ‘cellphone’ anymore. Yet what, exactly, constitutes ‘smart’?

July 14, 2020, 9:49 AM AEST