Crown Resorts makes first foray into luxury residences

/ EdgeProp
June 12, 2018 7:00 AM SGT
One Barangaroo, Crown Residences is Crown Resorts’ first luxury residence (Credit: Wordsearch & One Barangaroo Crown Residences Sydney)
Crown Resorts, one of Australia’s largest entertainment groups and commonly associated with casinos, has launched its first luxury residence, One Barangaroo, Crown Residences, in Barangaroo South. Located in the same tower as Sydney’s first six-star hotel, it will also be Australia’s first hotel-branded residence.
Scheduled to be completed in 2021, One Barangaroo, Crown Residences will be serviced by the six-star, 349- key Crown Sydney Hotel Resort.
The residences will occupy the 33rd to 65th floors of the 75-storey tower. There is a selection of expansive two-, three-, four- and six-bedroom units, as well as a limited number of duplex penthouses. There are a total of 82 residences, priced from A$9.5 million ($9.7 million), says Erin van Tuil, director of sales and marketing at Knight Frank, the marketing agent for the project. One Barangaroo, Crown Residences was launched on May 10.
Van Tuil: Living in One Barangaroo, Crown Residences is like living in a six-star Crown hotel (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ The Edge Singapore)
The tower, which will be 275m tall, was designed by award-winning British architectural firm Wilkinson Eyre to maximise views of the harbour. Wilkinson Eyre has worked on landmark projects such as King’s Cross Gasholders and the Battersea Power Station in London and Gardens by the Bay in Singapore.
Barangaroo, a thriving new 22ha waterfront precinct located on the southern shoreline of Sydney Harbour, is also on the western edge of the central business district. The government of New South Wales established the Barangaroo Delivery Authority under the Barangaroo Delivery Authority Act 2009 to manage the development of the area, dividing Barangaroo into three: Barangaroo South, Barangaroo Central and Barangaroo Reserve. In December 2009, Lendlease was selected as the developer for the Barangaroo South project, a 7.5ha site that is to be redeveloped into a financial and retail district.
One Barangaroo, Crown Residences is designed by award-winning British architectural firm Wilkinson Eyre (Credit: Wordsearch & One Barangaroo Crown Residences Sydney)

The opulence of One Barangaroo

One Barangaroo, Crown Residences is located just 30m from the shoreline. Each apartment at the development boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and dual-aspect views. From the northeastern side of the building, residents will get views of the Sydney Opera House, while the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the ocean are to the east. From the northern side, the view of Sydney Harbour; the Blue Mountains and the Darling Harbour are to the west and south respectively.
The design of the tower takes its inspiration from nature, and the building’s elegant, curved geometry provides a contrast to the many rectangular-shaped structures in the area. The glazed exterior of the building reflects its surroundings, allowing its appearance to change throughout the day. The landscape architect for the project is St Legere.
The layouts of the residences are by Meyer Davis Studio, a New York City-based design boutique that specialises in residential environments. Each residence features a bespoke designed ethanol-burning fireplace to provide a central focal point. Access to the residences is via three highspeed, destination-controlled lifts, ensuring minimum waiting time and complete security.
The living area of a duplex penthouse at One Barangaroo, Crown Residences boasts floor-to-ceiling windows (Credit: Wordsearch & One Barangaroo Crown Residences Sydney)
Residents will have access to services such as room service and priority restaurant bookings, provided by Crown’s highly trained staff. There is a separate residence entrance apart from the main hotel entrance.
Crown Resorts set up Crown College in Australia to ensure control over service standards. “Living in Crown Residences is like living in a Crown six-star hotel,” says Knight Frank’s van Tuil.

Australia’s property market

The increase in Sydney’s wealthy population, combined with a growing foreign influx of private wealth, has generated strong interest in One Barangaroo, Crown Residences.
Globally, Sydney is ninth in the luxury residential market performance rankings, with an annual growth of 10.7%. According to Knight Frank’s 12th edition of The Wealth Report, demand for prime and super-prime properties in Sydney remains strong, owing to the limited supply of prime residential stock and a significant growth in the number of high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs and UHNWIs).
Van Tuil echoes the same sentiment. “We haven’t seen any prime or super-prime buildings, so One Barangaroo, Crown Residences is definitely the first of its kind in Australia.”
The six-star spa within the development will be shared by residents and hotel guests (Credit: Wordsearch & One Barangaroo Crown Residences Sydney)
Last July, the stamp duty surcharge for foreign buyers of properties in New South Wales was raised from 4% of the sale price to 8%. This is higher than the 7% surcharge in Victoria and the 3% duty in Queensland. However, van Tuil notes that there has not been any indication that the change in stamp duty has affected the sale of units at One Barangaroo, Crown Residences. “When looking at the stamp duty in Sydney, and comparing it globally, it isn’t at a prohibitive level to deter entry to the Sydney prime market.”
According to Knight Frank’s Wealth Report 2017, Sydney attracted 4,000 HNWIs who have a net worth of over US$1 million ($1.3 million), excluding their primary residence, to the city in 2016 — the highest net inflow of any global city. Knight Frank estimates that Australia’s ultra-wealthy population increased by 9% in 2017 and is expected to grow by 37% in the next five years.
In addition, Australia is the third most-preferred global destination for the world’s UHNWIs to emigrate to, behind the UK and the US, according to Knight Frank’s annual Attitudes Survey. This group has a net worth of over US$30 million, excluding their primary residences.
One Barangaroo, Crown Residences is located just 30m from the shoreline (Credit: Wordsearch & One Barangaroo Crown Residences Sydney)
A vast majority of buyers at One Barangaroo, Crown Residences are likely to live in their residences, with very few renting out their units. “If a purchaser is considering letting out a unit at One Barangaroo, we would anticipate there would be demand from C-suite executives relocating to Sydney for short-term business reasons,” says van Tuil.

Demand for branded residences

There has been renewed interest in the branded residence sector, which made its appearance in the 1980s, and Australia is late in the game. “This is something that’s been around for some time, but we’ve just not seen it in Australia. People in Australia have been able to access this sort of living elsewhere,” says van Tuil. Despite this, she believes Crown Resorts’ entry to the sector with One Barangaroo, Crown Residences is timely, given Sydney’s escalating prime residential growth.
One Barangaroo, Crown Residences will be serviced by the six-star, 349-key Crown Sydney Hotel Resort (Credit: Wordsearch & One Barangaroo Crown Residences Sydney)
Even before the official launch of One Barangaroo, Crown Residences in Sydney on May 10, Knight Frank had already finalised a number of contracts with buyers who were keen to secure residences at the development. The launch, which was attended by 150 guests, saw a high level of enquiries and sales, owing to the unique prospect of living in a six-star hotel-serviced residence. Buyers were mainly Australian downsizers, including Australian expatriates. Some of the Australian buyers have businesses abroad and only live in the country for a small part of the year. There was a mix of Asian-Australian and European-Australian buyers as well.
Apart from the positive response from Sydneysiders for the limited residential units, there have also been enquiries from potential Singaporean buyers. Knight Frank is pursuing those relationships, and will be in Singapore again to speak to potential buyers, according to van Tuil. “There are only 82 residences. If you don’t get them quick, [they will be gone], for we can’t see this rare opportunity happening again in Sydney,” she says.
This article appeared in the EdgeProp Pullout, Issue #834 (June 11, 2018)