Developer Tim Gurner has secured a $300 million senior debt facility from ANZ to kick off construction at his ambitious triple-tower Saint Moritz project in St Kilda.
Gurner made his first draw-down on the construction facility this week, marking one of the largest residential construction loans to a private developer by the big four this year.
While the exact terms of the loan remain confidential, the fully-funded facility has a 27 month term and comes as a boost in confidence for a market unnerved by the big four’s retreat.
Gurner said that construction is 15 months ahead of schedule after the project raked in more than $500 million in sales within a six week period.
Five apartments remain unsold in the last building, the “Grand Esplanade” — the $540 million project is designed by architects Fender Katsalidis and Koichi Takada.
Melbourne builder Crema Group picked up the $150 million construction contract.
The former Novotel St Kilda hotel site, at 14-16 The Esplanade, was acquired by Greg Shand’s Barana Group in 2012 for $55 million.
The project next made headlines after ex-Domain boss Antony Catalano snapped up a $30 million penthouse off-market in February.
The seven-bedroom, seven-bathroom penthouse was billed as Melbourne’s most expensive apartment, achieving a rate of $40,000 a square metre.
Gurner said he was excited about the market’s response to the project.
“Countless advisors told me I was mad to launch a project of this scale when the market was still reeling from negativity,” Gurner said.
“It was hard to block out all the noise but I’m so glad we did because the market has really understood what we are trying to do.”
Demolition of the existing eight-storey, 211-key hotel commenced on Wednesday, with completion slated for late 2021.