Malaysian development giant UEM Sunrise has topped out its Aurora project, a $770 million skyscraper opposite Melbourne Central.
The 88-storey project, which is funded by a club of lenders, including Westpac along with Asian banks OCBC and DBS, is now in its final stages of construction, with all 959 apartments sold.
Aurora, UEM Sunrise’s flagship development after launching in Australia in 2015, now stands as the tallest residential tower in Melbourne’s CBD at 289 metres tall overtaking The Rialto.
Publicly listed in Malaysia, the company is the development arm of the UEM Group, which is wholly-owned by Khazanah, a Malaysian government investment fund.
UEM Sunrise managing director Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib said that this was not only a major milestone for UEM Sunrise, being the company’s second project to top out in Australia in the past 12 months, but also a testament to the growth of Melbourne’s prospering CBD.
Aurora, which sits opposite the Melbourne Central shopping complex, will comprise 959 apartments and a component of 252 serviced apartments, which were bought by Singapore's Ascendas Hospitality Trust for $120 million.
The 120,000 square metre development also features retail space, office space and car spaces for 362 cars.
The development also provides residents with a direct underground connection to Melbourne Central Train Station, Melbourne Central Shopping Centre, Emporium, Myer, David Jones and Bourke St Mall, the only residential project to do so in Melbourne.
Construction on the Elenberg Fraser designed tower commenced in late-2015, replacing a nine-level carpark.
Construction partner Probuild handed over the first 336 apartments of the tower late last year with the final stages of the project is expected to be completed by August.
“Aurora Melbourne Central has been strategically constructed to enable a staged handover, where residents have been able to move into the first two completed stages since October 2018, while construction continues safely above at higher levels,” Probuild Victorian managing director Luke Stambolis said.
Aurora SP4, 489 units, and Aurora SP5, 281 units, are expected to be handed over and settled in May and October 2019 respectively.
The developer is hopeful of achieving a 99 per cent settlement rate overall at Aurora, which is due to top out in the first quarter next year. The average selling price for apartments in the project is $10,500 per square metre
Last year, the sovereign developer topped out its 446-apartment project, Conservatory, in Melbourne's CBD.
The $330 million 42-storey Conservatory project at 9-23 MacKenzie Street at the northern end of the CBD, was funded by Malaysian bank Maybank.
In 2016, UEM Sunrise also took over the Victoria Police complex on St Kilda Road and engaged architect Zaha Hadid to design a luxury apartment complex, one of Hadid's last ever buildings.
Mayfair, located at 412 St Kilda Road, comprises 158 residences of one- to five-bedrooms, ranging in size from 70 square metres to 556 square metres.
Around 50 per cent of the project is sold with UEM Sunrise hoping to begin construction by the end of this year.