Malaysian developer Gamuda Land has completed construction on its maiden Australian project, a $154 million apartment tower on Melbourne’s Chapel Street.
Designed by architects Bird de la Coeur, the project is set in the fast-developing Forrest Hill section of South Yarra, overlooking the heritage-listed Melbourne High School.
The project was funded by HSBC, which allowed the developer to push ahead with the 30-storey tower without meeting a presales target.
Gamuda Land began construction on 661 Chapel Street in April 2016, ahead of launching to market.
In response to what the developer identified as an owner-occupier driven market, Gamuda Land inversed the timeline of the project’s development in order to allow owner-occupiers to view the product prior to purchase.
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While 70 percent of Gamuda Land’s 116 units have sold, a weakened property market has kept the tower in the red.
Gamuda Land chief executive officer Ngan Chee Meng told the Australian Financial Review that they had not yet met the “profit line”.
"The property market is rather cautious over the past year. We observed a decline in the foreigner and investor segments but still see strong interest from the owner-occupiers and long-term investors, both overseas and interstate."
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Sales figures for the project reflect Gamuda Land's positioning of the project. Owner-occupiers overwhelmingly account for the majority of buyers with 15 per cent of purchasers flowing from New South Wales.
“We’ve certainly welcomed the shift towards an owner-occupier driven market and have also noticed a surprising number of owner-occupier purchasers come from Sydney to buy in 661 Chapel St," Gamuda Land’s project director Aw Sei Cheh said.
Gamuda Land achieved practical completion last month, ahead of schedule. The developer has announced that it intends to seek out prospective projects in Melbourne.