SUNLAND Group's first foray into the Brisbane high rise market has paid off with the developer's 41-storey Abian tower in the CBD sold out two years ahead of completion.
The $240 million project, under construction in Alice Street across from the Botanical Gardens, bodes well for the Brisbane-based developer which has earmarked the former ABC studio site at Toowong for a twin-tower project, Grace on Coronation, as it ramps up its development activity in south-east Queensland.
Sunland CEO Sahba Abedian says Abian, which comprises 140 apartments, has tapped into a dearth of luxury apartment developments in the city and was the first project of its kind to be launched in the city in five years.
"When Abian was launched during the first quarter of 2014, it recorded the most apartment sales of any new apartment project in the Brisbane region, positioning luxury property as the biggest seller in the local apartment market for the first time in more than seven years," Abedian says.
"When you consider that the average apartment price in Abian was $1.6 million, it signifies the depth of the owner-occupier market and the level of demand for larger, sophisticated living spaces in the inner city."
Abian has largely targeted owner-occupiers in a high rise market that has been whipped up by strong investor activity in recent years.
Abedian says Sunland, the developer of the Q1 on the Gold Coast, intends to continue focusing on this market sector as it rolls out a string of new projects in Brisbane and the Gold Coast over the next two years.
"The luxury owner-occupier residential segment is the hallmark of Sunland's DNA, from Palazzo Versace, Aria, Malibu and Carmel on the Gold Coast, to Yve and Balencea in Melbourne," he says.
"It is a segment we will continue to focus on in the year ahead."
Sunland, which relocated its headquarters from the Gold Coast to Brisbane earlier this year, spent $82 million on site acquisitions in FY15 and is now gearing up for some of its biggest projects in a decade in both Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
The company has hit a snag with its Toowong project following objections from local residents which could delay the project by up to a year.
However, it is pushing ahead with major developments on the Gold Coast, including the planned twin-tower redevelopment of Mariner's Cove into a new hotel-apartment project featuring a privately-funded museum and arts precinct.
The $600 million project has been billed as the Gold Coast's answer to New York's Guggenheim and it is expected to bring an extra 500,000 tourists to the city a year.
Sunland has forecast a full-year net profit of between $25 million and $29 million in FY16, although sales from Abian will not be included in the current year's figures. The development is expected to be completed in 2017.
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