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Stamford Land in A$220m Sydney project

Site in The Rocks will have apartment tower, terrace homes, retail units

SINGAPORE-LISTED Stamford Land, the hotel and property arm of shipping tycoon Ow Chio Kiat, is planning to build some of Australia’s most expensive homes on the site of two old demolished warehouses and a heritage building.

Mr Ow bought the 99-year leasehold site on Sydney’s The Rocks area fronting Gloucester Street and Cumberland Street for A$22 million in June 2004 and is developing a 30-storey building with 122 apartments, five luxury terraces and commercial and retail space, at a total cost of some A$220 million (S$279 million).

Even before the official launch, 55 per cent of the project is said to have been sold, at an average price of just over A$1,000 per square foot (psf).

The 427 square metre penthouse at The Stamford Residences and The Reynell Terraces is expected to fetch A$14 million, which, according to The Daily Telegraph, will beat the A$12 million paid for another apartment at The Bennelong. This would be just short of the record A$16.5 million paid for three adjoining apartments formerly owned by one of Australia’s richest men, John Symond, who founded lending giant Aussie Home Loans and who in 2004 had a fortune estimated at A$365 million.

The cheapest apartment, a 62 sq m one-bedroom unit, is expected to go for A$645,000, or about S$1,200 psf – high, but way below the $4,000 psf apartments at Singapore’s Orchard Turn are fetching.

A brochure for the project says: ‘This unique development will create history as the last grand residential tower permitted in The Rocks – Sydney’s first neighbourhood.’

According to The Daily Telegraph, The Stamford Residences is the final tower to be approved under the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority Planning Scheme. The scheme allowed for a single tower to be built in each of the six blocks south of the Cahill Expressway as a way to provide funding to upgrade other heritage buildings in The Rocks area.

In the past 25 years, the scheme has resulted in the Four Seasons Hotel, Grosvenor Tower, Quay West Apartments, the Shangri-la Hotel and the Cove Apartments.

The Telegraph quoted National Trust of Australia conservation director Graham Quint as saying: ‘We warm to the idea that this is the last large development of this scale and size. You wouldn’t want this encroaching further into the heart of The Rocks . . . This sort of thing is the trade-off to protect the rest of The Rocks . . . The area is becoming glitzier and glitzier but people and tourists don’t want to see something they can in their own country. You don’t want to lose all that character.’

Stamford Land, with a market capitalisation of about $500 million, owns seven of Australia’s best hotels and one in New Zealand. It has also gone into the development of high-end property in the two territories, having developed three luxury residential projects in Sydney – Stamford on Kent, 187 Kent, and Stamford Marque.

Besides The Rocks, it has two other residential projects – The Stamford Residences in Auckland and The Stamford Cosmopolitan in Double Bay – and an office tower in Perth under development.

Mr Ow, Stamford Land’s executive chairman, told BT: ‘Stamford will continue to make its residential developments synonymous with its five-star luxury hotel brand. We are committed to focus on the upmarket end of the housing market throughout the region.’


Source: Business Times 29 Nov 07

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