Apartment Precincts vs. Standalone Towers: Choosing Your Ideal Development

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When it comes to choosing an apartment to call home, one of the most critical decisions you’ll make is the type of development you want to reside in. 

In this article, we will delve into the world of master-planned precincts and standalone towers to help you make an informed decision about your future home. 

What is a master-planned precinct?

A master-planned precinct, commonly named precinct apartments, refers to a carefully designed and organised area within a larger urban or suburban development, with a specific focus on creating a well-structured and integrated community of apartments and related amenities. This type of development approach prioritises thoughtful land-use planning, architectural coherence, and the provision of essential infrastructure to ensure that the precinct functions efficiently and offers a high quality of life for its residents.

A master-planned precinct’s layout and design are carefully planned to optimise land use and often includes a mix of residential, commercial, and recreational spaces to create a self-sustaining community where residents can live, work, and enjoy leisure activities without extensive travel.

These precincts are often developed in phases, allowing for gradual growth and adaptation to changing needs and market conditions. They are typically guided by a long-term vision too, with a focus on creating a sustainable and desirable place to live for generations to come.

What are standalone towers?

As the name suggests, standalone towers are single high-rise residential buildings that are constructed independently and not part of a larger precinct. Standalone towers are characterised by their vertical construction, often having a significant number of floors to accommodate a larger number of apartment units. 

They can vary in height, design, and amenity offrings, but they are distinct from low-rise or mid-rise apartment buildings and are often prominent features on a city skyline.

So, let’s explore the pros and cons of each type to guide you on your path to finding your dream home.

The Pro’s & Con’s of Master-Planned Precincts

Master-planned precincts are comprehensive, integrated communities designed to provide residents with a holistic living experience. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of choosing this type of development:


Creating a Sense of Community: One of the most significant advantages of master-planned precincts is the strong sense of community they foster. These developments often feature communal areas, green spaces, and social events, making it easier to connect with neighbours.

Variety of Amenities and Services: Master-planned precincts typically offer a wide range of amenities and services within the community, including retail, healthcare facilities, cafes, restaurants, bars and recreational spaces. This convenience enhances residents’ quality of life.

Sustainability: Master-planned precincts are often designed with sustainability in mind. They may incorporate green spaces, energy-efficient buildings, and sustainable transportation options to reduce their environmental impact.

Security: Due to their integrated nature, master-planned precincts tend to be more secure. Security measures like gated access, surveillance, and community policing are commonly implemented to ensure residents’ safety.

Rental Premiums: Case studies of master-planned apartment precincts in central Melbourne indicate a price premium range of 15-29% in 2022. This is when compared to the median apartment price in the same area. These precinct apartments include strong amenity, retail and lifestyle offerings, such as parks, gardens, restaurants, office, high end hotels and medical amenity.

An Urbis study conducted on master-planned precincts found that three years prior to the completion of each urban renewal precinct there was an average decrease in the suburb’s median rent by 1.1% per annum. Following the precinct’s completion, each case study saw a significant uplift in rent growth. The suburb-wide median rent increased by around 5.7% per year over the five years post completion.


Cost: The comprehensive amenities and services offered in master-planned precincts can, at times, mean that apartments within come at a price. These developments can be more expensive compared to standalone towers.

Flexibility: While master-planned precincts offer a wide range of amenities, they may lack flexibility in terms of individual customisation. Residents might have limited options for personalising their living spaces and colour schemes.

Crowded Environment: The popularity of master-planned precincts can lead to higher population density, which can result in more crowded common areas.

The Pro’s & Con’s of Standalone Towers

Standalone towers represent a different approach to urban living. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of choosing this type of development:


Affordability: Apartments in standalone towers are often more affordable than master-planned precincts due to their smaller scale and lower maintenance costs.

Flexibility: Standalone towers offer greater flexibility when it comes to customising your living space. In some instances you can have more options to personalise your apartment according to your preferences.

Privacy: If you value privacy, standalone towers can provide a quieter and more private living environment compared to the bustling community spaces of master-planned precincts.


Community Orientation: Standalone towers may lack the strong sense of community found in master-planned precincts. You might need to make more effort to connect with neighbours and create a community of your own.

Amenities and Services: Standalone towers might have fewer on-site amenities and services, requiring residents to seek these facilities outside the development.

Sustainability: While efforts are made to make standalone towers environmentally friendly, they may not achieve the same level of sustainability as master-planned precincts with their integrated green initiatives.

Key Takeaways

In conclusion, the choice between precinct apartments  and standalone towers ultimately depends on your unique needs and preferences. Consider the following factors when making your decision:

Your lifestyle: Are you looking for a strong sense of community and convenience, or do you prioritise privacy and customisation?

Your budget: Your financial situation will play a significant role in your decision-making process.

Your environmental values: Consider the sustainability features that align with your environmental consciousness.

Your desire for amenities: Assess your reliance on on-site amenities and services.

Far East Consortium offers both master-planned precincts and standalone towers, ensuring you have a range of choices to find the perfect home. Some noteworthy examples of our offerings include the luxurious West Side Place master-planned precinct in Melbourne, which has transformed the city’s skyline and brought significant positive impacts to the local community.

Still, it’s essential to do your own research, visit potential developments, and talk to current residents to get a first-hand feel for what suits you best. Your future home is a significant investment, and we want to help you make the right choice.


What is a master-planned precinct?

A precinct structure plan (PSP) is a detailed document that outlines the development and land use for a specific area, ensuring that the development aligns with local planning policies and community needs.

What are the benefits of a master-planned precinct?

A master-planned precinct’s layout and design are carefully planned to optimise land use and often includes a mix of residential, commercial, and recreational spaces to create a self-sustaining community where residents can live, work, and enjoy leisure activities without extensive travel.

Who is responsible for developing a master-planned precinct?

Local governments and planning authorities are typically responsible for developing master-planned precincts in consultation with developers, builders and architects.

What are the challenges of developing a master-planned precinct?

Challenges can include balancing the interests of various stakeholders, addressing environmental and council concerns, and ensuring long-term sustainability and community engagement.

Contact our sales team today.

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