Helen Li is the CEO of international property development company,
Landence Group, who have just recently chosen Melbourne as the destination for their first Australian project,
Landence Group are a family business that to date have built close to 600,000 square meters of development, involving over 2.2 billion of Australian investment dollars.
Having lived in Australia for eleven years, Helen was initially drawn to Melbourne because of the city’s rich culture and what she describes as “the marriage of heritage and modern streetscapes.”
Helen completed a university degree in accounting and business at Deakin University, which gave her many great insights into the property industry such as, “to be a good developer is to be a good marketer”.
As Landence Group embark on their first Australian project, The Urban Developer sat down with Helen to better understand the new developer on the block and where she sees the greatest opportunities and challenges within the Australian market.
The Foyer of Evermore
Q. Other than the influence of your father, what else inspired you to pursue a career in property?
The main reason for getting into the industry was due to the land/house price continuing to rise in Australia. We like to think Melbourne is similar to how Shanghai was 20 years ago. Back then the housing prices in China were just starting to rise. With the population growth, I believe the demand for housing in Australia, especially in Sydney and Melbourne, is still strong.
Q. What are your passions outside of property?
Our family loves camping. Especial my two boys, they are a big fan of the wild. My partner and I enjoy travelling together. We love to know different people and their cultures.
Q. What’s your take on the debate about Australia’s housing affordability crisis?
We have experienced a similar housing affordability crisis in China few years ago, however the demand in Melbourne is still very strong. The main reason for this being that there are always young couples forming families needing bigger places to live in.
Q. What do you believe are the greatest development opportunities over the next 5-10 years?
Landence Group has the goal of creating new/relaxed lifestyle for residents. In our future projects, we are looking at firstly, high-end boutique apartments, targeting premium owners-occupier downsizers.
Secondly, house and land packages, with well-contracted infrastructure facilities, such as child care services, hospital, school and supermarkets etc.
A good mix is very important, for example, we prefer a higher ratio of beautiful landscape, for our Evermore Project, we have huge outdoor vertical landscapes, the purpose is to create resort style living.
Q. What’s your take on the current state of the Melbourne market?
As an experienced developer, having gone through the property market sharpening in China a few years ago, we strongly believe that the demand for the Melbourne residents is still high, both in houses and apartments.
Q. What advice would you give young people entering the property industry?
Learn the basics. Only through experience, you can understand the purchasers’ demands.
Q. How do you think the property industry is changing due to the growing influence of millennials?
Young people prefer apartment living. They are used to a fast-paced lifestyle and apartments offer just what they are looking for — close to workplace, restaurants, plenty of take-out places etc.
Q. Is there a quote that has shaped your way of thinking?
“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination.” I believe if I decide to do something, I must do it well, determination is the key. Once we focus on it, we will make it happen.
Q. What other developers or designers inspire you and why?
We love working with The Evermore’s designer,
Hayball, who are a local architect right here in Melbourne. It’s always great to work with inspiring female architects, Sarah Buckeridge and Bianca Hung.
Q. If you had an ideal vision for the future of cities what would it be?
For Melbourne, I believe it will become more artistic. I love its coffee/brunch culture. I’m looking forward to seeing more and more people settle into this type of lifestyle.
Q. What have you learnt from the Chinese property market that you think Australia could learn from?
Developers will need to be more adaptable to the market. As policies may change anytime, we want to be prepared for anything.
Located at 58 – 66 Dorcas Street, The Evermore straddles the boundaries of Southbank and South Melbourne. Being in close proximity of Melbourne’s acclaimed arts centre precinct and the gardens of South Melbourne is a major asset for potential buyers.
Evermore is placed 350 meters from Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens, is in close proximity to the CBD and a short walk to the closest major tram stop.
With 2 penthouses already sold and 1 under reservation, the development offers a range of one, two and three bedroom apartments, ranging from 45 SQM, 60 SQM and 110 SQM respectively.
Evermore was designed by internationally acclaimed architects Hayball, who have envisioned a residential lifestyle inspired by resort style living and drew from the experiences created in the world’s luxury hotels.
The project also features a 14.5-meter open-air pool, sun lounges, hanging gardens, a state of the art gymnasium, a shared library with study areas and an entire floor of additional leisure rooms.
Stage one launch of 199 apartments is commencing now with apartments priced from one bedroom $399,000 to two bedroom from $635,000, to three bedroom from $1.26 million.