Opal Tower builder Icon buys 10th floor apartment

Opal Tower builder Icon buys 10th floor apartment
Opal Tower builder Icon buys 10th floor apartment

A lucky absentee apartment owner in the Opal Tower at Sydney Olympic Park has been able to escape the building cracking turmoil with a profit.

His damaged 10th floor apartment — possibly the worst affected within the 392 apartment high-rise — has been sold for $950,000.

But it appears to be a one-off sale as it has been bought by the besieged builder of the tower, Icon Co (NSW) Pty Ltd, whose solicitor declined to comment on the reasons behind its purchase.

The bullish $950,000 sale price of apartment 1005 was $158,000 more than the $742,000 off the plan price paid in 2014.

It was located on the 10th floor which saw severe cracking which prompted the evacuation of the entire building last Christmas Eve.

There were images soon after showing the damage outside the 1005 door.

The now sold two bedroom, two bathroom 86 sqm apartment had been a $600 a week rental before the cracks.

The vendor was Quan Zhou whose sales legal paperwork was lodged by China-based, Chengdu-headquartered Tahota Law Firm which has a liaison office in Sydney.

The Telegraph was not able to contact their Sydney solicitor, Yijing Hua.

Opal Tower builder Icon buys 10th floor apartment

Minter Ellison lawyer Susan Bellamy signed the acquisition paperwork for Icon but declined to comment when asked if further acquisitions are being sought or offered to other owners.

The building’s last sale was a few weeks before the evacuation last December.

By next week just 12 apartments will remain unable to be occupied.

Without confirmation from Icon, it is speculated the purchase was because the builder required ongoing access, and would eventually need to substantially reconfigure the apartment space.

Sydney property consultant Edwin Almeida said it would be mistake if the intention of the sale was to reset valuations.

“Valuers won’t put their names or professional indemnity insurance or certificates on the line,” he said.

Residents and agents contacted by The Daily Telegraph don’t hold out much hope that the profitable sale of 1005 will be replicated should others wish to sell.

Opal Tower builder Icon buys 10th floor apartment

“You’d think once other owners have heard of the sale, there’ll be a massive queue to sell to the builder,’ one observer said.

The Sydney Olympic Park development, which was completed in August last year, saw sales range from $505,000 up to $2.498 million for the 35 floor penthouse.

The building was very popular with investor buyers of Asian origin, many of whom bought off the plan in 2014 and 2015.

It was in 2014 when the developer Ecove entered into the Opal project agreement with the Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA).

Last week owners of units lodged a class-action lawsuit in the NSW Supreme Court against SOPA which owned the land on which the complex was built.

The action was filed in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday led by owner Terry Williamson.

Lawyers for the owners have filed documents claiming the building was not designed and constructed with due care and skill, and was not reasonably fit for occupation.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian defended the right of owners to sue her government agency.

“I don’t blame anybody for taking legal action to defend their own rights,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian noted it was “an unfortunate set of circumstances.”

“We inherited the system we have today and we’re aiming to fix it by the end of the year through legislation.”

Ms Berejiklian said the government will be announcing a new building commissioner “imminently” to oversee the problem-plagued construction industry.

Icon has recently agreed to pay $1.7 million of the tower's $2 million insurance premium, saving owners from a potential second evacuation from the defective building.

This article was first published in the Daily Telegraph.

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Opal Tower Building Defect

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