Adopt an “e-change” lifestyle at this sustainable new development

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THE Cape’s director Brendan Condon is more than happy to put his money where his mouth is.

Not only is he the founder of this eco-friendly development at Cape Paterson, nearly two hours’ drive southeast of Melbourne’s CBD, he’s also a purchaser, having snapped up a block for his family in stage two.

“My partner and I will divide our time between the home at The Cape and a unit in Melbourne,” said Mr Condon, who is also one of the five ethical investors in the consortium behind the project.

“We’re already spending our weekends in one of the houses down here and, I can tell you, it gets a bit depressing when Sunday evening comes around because we’re sad to leave the community.”

Mr Condon described himself as one of the growing band of “e-changers” — sea-changers or tree-changers who run businesses or work part-time from attractive coastal locations.

He said The Cape was perfectly set up for the lifestyle.

“People can sell a mid-range property in Melbourne, step up to a super-comfortable, sustainable, affordable, eight-star beach house at The Cape that has a fraction of the energy bills of their original home, and put a few hundred thousand in their super,” he said.

“All homes have high-speed NBN, with fibre to the home, so they can stay connected to the city, business and social networks while having access to a healthy lifestyle, clean air and open space, as well as a community garden to grow fresh produce.”

Mr Condon said The Cape was able to fit 500 lots but would only have 220, because of its focus on walking and bike tracks, native vegetation, parks and barbecue areas.

“More than 50 per cent is dedicated to wide, open spaces, which is a lot more than the standard ratio,” he explained.

“We wanted to build a community that encourages people to walk effortlessly as part of their day, and (do things like) walk or ride their bike down to the surf break.”

And that is another selling point of The Cape.

“It isn’t far from Wilsons Prom and Phillip Island and there is no road between us and the coast, so we overlook the ocean,” Mr Condon said.

But probably the biggest drawcard for many buyers is The Cape’s green credentials.

So far, the homes built at The Cape have averaged more than eight stars in energy efficiency (the minimum building requirement is six stars) and, on average, have an annual energy cost of less than $500.

They feature passive solar design, insulation, shading, glazing and cross-flow ventilation and are in the top one per cent of sustainable homes in Australia.

Another exceptional feature of The Cape is the community garden, which is already yielding produce and is to get a pizza oven, hothouse and tool shed.

In other plans for the development, a community centre offering a high-speed broadband-connected co-working space and office facilities is proposed, along with a Melbourne-style cafe, conference centre and health and wellness facilities.

Also to come are an electric-vehicle share scheme for Melbourne commuters, and vehicle charging stations.

Homebuyers at The Cape can choose from a range of pre-approved sustainable house designs, work with the development’s builders on their own design, or build a house with their preferred designer and builder (the home will need to comply with The Cape’s guidelines and be approved by a review committee).

The Cape has three homes on display to the public.

Checklist

Block sizes: 312sq m (townhouse lot) to 879sq m (house lot)

Price range: $150,000 (townhouse lot) to $340,000 (house lot). House-and-land packages start at $490,000

Sales offices: The Cape’s main display home, 4 Periwinkle Place, Cape Paterson; and The Sociable Weaver’s 10 Star Home, 5 Periwinkle Place, Cape Paterson.

Open: Noon-4pm, Sat-Sun, at the The Cape’s main display home;

and 8am-4pm weekdays at The Sociable Weaver’s 10 Star Home.

www.liveatthecape.com.au

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