UK developer eyes off Australia for super-luxury apartments site

UK developer eyes off Australia for super-luxury apartments site
UK developer eyes off Australia for super-luxury apartments site

Billionaire UK property developer Nick Candy is seeking an Australian partner for a super-luxury apartment development, with Melbourne looking the most likely location.

Candy has already looked at a development site in Sydney and met with developer Lend Lease six months ago, but no deal eventuated.

However, recent comments from Candy suggest he could now be eyeing Melbourne as a favoured location, telling the AFR he was “very impressed” when he visited the city two years ago.

“I was very impressed by the quality of the restaurants, the quality of the hotels. In some respects, I would say that Melbourne is even more international than Sydney,” Candy said.

Any development would most likely eclipse Melbourne’s most expensive apartment complexes, the Melburnian in St Kilda, where a 465-square metre-penthouse changed hands for $15 million (or $32,000 per square metre) in 2009 and the Salta Properties development at 150 Clarendon Street, in East Melbourne.

"[The Salta Properties development] is the most expensive apartment in recent memory," says Andrew Leoncelli CBRE’s director of residential Projects Victoria.

"The Salta development comprised of 86 apartments which had an average sale price of $5 million an apartment with five apartments sold for well over $10 million," he tells Property Observer

Commenting on a possible Candy-led development, Leoncelli says "sophistication and luxury are part of everyday Melbourne life and a quality development that embodied this lifestyle would be well received".

Nick Candy is the chief executive of interior designer Candy & Candy while his brother, Christian is CEO of private developer CPC Group.

One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge, Central London, which has been labelled the world’s most expensive apartment complex has been developed by Project Grande (Guernsey) Limited  - a joint venture partnership between CPC Group and the Prime Minister of Qatar.

Floor space at One Hyde Park is selling for $96,000 per square metre.

Apartment sales to date total £1.1 billion ($1.64 billion) with buyers hailing from Russia, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

One Hyde Park took four years to build at a cost of £1.1 billion. Glazing and cladding alone cost £100 million. At the peak of its development, 2,500 worked on site.

It is located on one hectare of land at 100 Knightsbridge Road, with Hyde Park directly behind it, and just a short walk from Harrods and Harvey Nichols.

It consists of 86 apartments within four diamond-shaped pavilions, including four penthouses.

The apartments vary in size from 9,500 square feet over a single floor, with penthouses up to 30,000 square feet.

It houses the Mandarin Oriental hotel – the first of the chain to be opened in Europe – and retail tenants include Rolex, McLaren Automotive and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.

Following the apartment sales, loans from three banks to finance the development have been paid off.

The Candy brothers used a £6,000 loan from their grandmother to start renovating flats in London 15 years ago.

They sold their first £1 million apartment in Knightsbridge in the late 1990s.

Not all developments have yielded success. Last year financing for a $933 million project in Beverly Hills fell through, with CPC Group forced to sell the site at a loss of $300 million.

Candy is currently in Sydney for the movie debut of girlfriend and former Neighbours star Holly Valance.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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