Ground-Breaking Ceremony for Sapphire by The Gardens by S P Setia
MELBOURNE (Oct 15): S P Setia Bhd is optimistic about the property demand in Melbourne, Australia, as the population of one of the world’s most liveable cities continues to rise and is expected to surpass that of New South Wales’ capital city, Sydney, in the next decade, said the company president and CEO Datuk Khor Chap Jen.
The resilient demand also reflected in the sales of S P Setia’s latest offering – Sapphire By The Gardens luxury integrated development, which has seen 95% of its residential units taken-up since its launch in June last year.
“There is a mix of buyers from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia as well as other countries. The integrated development concept and the strategic location in Melbourne city are the main attractions for the purchasers,” he told the media after the ground breaking ceremony of Sapphire By The Gardens at its construction site at Exhibition Street today.
This is also the S P Setia’s fifth and biggest project at Melbourne's Central Business District. The development carries a GDV of A$960 million (approximately RM2.8 billion).
Sprawled across a 4,140-sq m (1.02-acre) plot in the heart of Melbourne city centre, the “twin tower” development, which designed by Cox Architects and Fender Katsalidis, comprises two towers of 60- and 62 floors with a sky bridge linking both towers that houses the 500-room Shangri-La Hotel in Melbourne, 345 luxury apartments as well as office and retail spaces.
S P Setia’s Australia operations CEO Datuk Choong Kai Wai said there are only limited units left in Sapphire By The Gardens, mostly penthouses with higher selling prices.
The built-ups of the apartments range from 50 sq m (549 sq ft) m to 660 sq m (7,104.2 sq ft) with the largest units being the penthouses, while prices start from A$550,000 (RM1.77 million).
One of its penthouses, which comes with 10 car parking spaces, carries a price tag of A$29 million (RM85.9 million) – making it the most expensive apartment on the Melbourne property market.
Choong noted that the most expensive penthouse has yet to find a buyer but the company has received enquiries from a few interested parties.
Meanwhile, Shangri-La Hotel will have three levels of amenities including a sky lobby, restaurants, spa, fitness centre, swimming pool and a state-of-the-art ballroom overlooking the Unesco World Heritage Carlton Gardens and Royal Exhibition Building.
The entire development is scheduled to be completed in end-2021 and the five-star Shangri-La Hotel is expected to start operation in 2022.
In his speech, S P Setia chairman Tan Sri Wan Mohd Zahid Mohd Noordin said S P Setia has begun making its presence felt in Melbourne in late 2010, with the company commencing six projects with cumulative GDVs of A$2.3 billion within the past 10 years.
To date, the developer has three completed projects – Fulton Lane, Parque Melbourne and Maison Carnegie – with a combined GDV of A$732 million (approximately RM2.1 billion).
He said that there are another three projects underway, namely Sapphire By The Gardens, the Marque Residences at Prahran and UNO Melbourne, worth A$$1.6 billion.
With close to a decade of expansion in the Melbourne market, Khor said S P Setia has gained a strong foothold in the city's property market and with Shangri-La’s participation as the hotel operator for the development, Sapphire By The Gardens will become a new iconic development in Melbourne.
“We are also constantly exploring opportunities in other cities in Australia, such as Sydney and Adelaide, but Melbourne still has more growth potential for its vibrant business activities, [and] increasing population – migrants and students – as well as its unique lifestyle,” he added.
Shangri-La Asia Ltd CEO Lim Beng Chee concurred that Melbourne has more to offer, which is why the company chose to work together with S P Setia to bring in its five-star Shangri-La Hotel to Melbourne.
“It has been 15 years since Shangri-La first entered Australia with a hotel in Sydney. We believe it is well worth the wait given the hotel’s unique location in Melbourne,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lord Mayor of Melbourne Sally Capp said Melbourne has attracted 13 million visitors in 2017. She added that there is also increasing demand for luxury hotels in Melbourne, hence, the presence of Shangri-La Hotel will definitely meet tourists’ requirement and creating more employment opportunities within the city.