Downsizers still underpin luxury beachside tower construction

LONDON: Downsizers still underpin the luxury beachside tower market and developments in this sector continue unabated.

Billionaire Rich Lister Sam Arnaout is betting on the Gold Coast property market to thrive beyond the construction malaise and has won approval to build a $250 million high-end apartment tower overlooking the beach at Surfers Paradise.

The 38-level tower offering just 51 large apartments and a two-storey beach house will be built on an 865sq m site at 71-73 Garfield Terrace, which Mr Arnaout’s Iris Capital acquired last September for about $19 million from Mick Power, chairman of engineering and construction firm BMD.

It is just a few kilometres from where construction has kicked off on Iris Capital’s $1 billion V&A Broadbeach featuring two towers with more than 330 apartments on the site of the former Niecon Plaza. Both projects were designed by architects DBI.

The Broadbeach project has racked up $200 million of apartment sales since launching – a sign of confidence in Mr Arnaout’s ability to turn projects into reality amid a surge in construction costs and labour shortages that have already claimed one major project, a $500 million apartment tower cancelled last month by Melbourne-based Central Equity.

“We are big believers in the Gold Coast, having witnessed the success in sales so far at V&A Broadbeach,” Mr Arnaout said. “It’s a very desirable place to live, and migration is very strong.”

When he launched the V&A Broadbeach project in September, Mr Arnaout tipped the Gold Coast market to thrive for the next decade.

“[Winning the 2032 Olympic bid] solidifies certainty for the region for the next 10 years,” Mr Arnaout said at the time.

At 71 Garfield Terrace, Iris Capital will target the wealthy end of the Gold Coast buyer market, including downsizers and families seeking large residences or holiday homes.

The smallest apartment on offer will be a three-bedroom unit taking up half a floor, while four-bedroom units will take up a full floor and have their own private plunge pool.

On top will be two-level, five-bedroom penthouses with five bedrooms and a triple-storey penthouse.

The two-storey ground-floor beach house will have a private pool and courtyard area, while level 24 will offer residents amenities such as a swimming pool, gym, sauna, outdoor barbecue and dining area.

Approval from the Gold Coast City Council for the Garfield Terrace project caps a busy few months for Mr Arnaout and his Iris Capital, which also owns pubs, casinos and hotels.

In July, Iris acquired Casino Canberra from Aquis Entertainment for $63 million, having paid about $80 million at the start of the month for the Strathfield Hotel in Sydney’s inner west at the start of the month.