Success of Graphite Square spurs Third.i Group to build development pipeline in the UK

/ EdgeProp Singapore |
Ron Dadd (left) and Luke Berry, directors and founders of Third.i Group in Singapore for the launch of Graphite Square a fortnight ago (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Australian developer Third.i Group launched its London project, Graphite Square, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Singapore a fortnight ago. That weekend (Feb 26–27), Singaporean buyers were said to have purchased six units, including a two-bedroom, duplex penthouse of 1,397 sq ft that fetched GBP1.96 million ($3.5 million) or a new high of GBP1,400 psf for the development.
That wasn’t all. At its global VIP release in the middle of last November, with One Global as the marketing agent in Singapore, Singaporeans emerged as the biggest buyers, snapping up 50% of the total units sold with sales value of GBP40 million. The global VIP release was held simultaneously in China, Hong Kong, the Middle East, Singapore and the UK. With 13 units sold at the VIP release that weekend, the tally of units purchased at Graphite Square by Singaporeans is 19 to date.
Prices at Graphite Square start from GBP675,000 for a one-bedder, with average price of units sold at GBP1,250 psf. “It was a good mix of buyers,” says Julian Sedgwick, Third.i head of business development for Asia and the UK. “We had family members who bought units together, people who bought for their children’s future university education, and individual investors too.”
Graphite Square is a GBP200 million mixed-use development sitting on a 279,000 sq ft site at Vauxhall, London. Planning permission has been granted for three residential buildings of nine to 13 storeys, with 110 one- to three-bedroom private apartments and another 50 one- to three-bedroom affordable homes. The commercial space, which spans four floors, has 80,000 sq ft of co-working space that has been pre-leased to London-based co-working operator Halkin. The mixed-use development includes a Methodist church and landscaped communal gardens.
160-unit Graphite Square at Vauxhall London - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The 160-unit Graphite Square at Vauxhall, London, with a four-storey, 80,000 sq ft co-working space leased to co-working operator, Halkin (Credit: Third.i Group)
Piling works have begun at the site, with the 999-year leasehold project scheduled for completion sometime in 4Q2024. “We secured the site during the pandemic without having seen it,” says Luke Berry, director and co-founder of Third.i. “Our joint-venture partner in the project invested millions of pounds together with us during the pandemic.” To Berry, that is a testament to the strength of the project.
Negotiations on the site had begun in early 2021, with contracts exchanged in July/August, and the deal finalised at the end of September. “We started working on the project three days after we completed the deal, and we did a VIP global launch in November,” comments Ron Dadd, Third.i director and co-founder.
Graphite Square is Third.i’s second project in London. Its maiden project is 58–70 York Road in Battersea, London. A mixed-use development with 82 apartments and a ground-floor retail space, the project is scheduled for completion in the coming months. The 0.34ha site was purchased by Third.i and its joint-venture partner in 2018. The apartments are fully sold to date, and the commercial space on the ground floor could be used as a cafe or even a display suite by the developer.

Building a GBP1 billion pipeline

Third.i is now actively looking for more sites in the UK, with a focus in London’s Zones 1 and 2. In terms of deal size, the group is looking at gross development value in the range of GBP50 million to GBP200 million. “We’re going to replicate in London, the size and scale of the business that we’ve built over the last 17 years in Australia,” says Berry. “We would like to get a development pipeline worth GBP1 billion in the UK.”
58-70 York Road  Battersea - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Third.i Group’s maiden development in London is the 82-unit residential project at 58-70 York Road, Battersea, which is scheduled for completion in the coming months (Credit: Third.i Group)
Dadd recently relocated to London with his family in order to further entrench the group in the UK market. Under consideration are six possible development sites in London. “Our goal is to have another two projects by the end of the year,” he says.
Co-founded by Berry, Dadd and Robert Huxley in 2005 when they were in their 20s, Third.i has its base in North Sydney, New South Wales. Over the course of close to two decades, the developer has built projects ranging from residential, commercial and senior living across Australia. Today, it has a development pipeline of more than A$2.5 billion ($2.5 billion).
“At its core, the “i” in Third.i refers to investing in infrastructure,” says Berry. “Our investments have always been based on areas where investments in infrastructure are made. So ‘the third i’ is always about looking ahead; and in property, the skillset to have is to try and predict market movements and to anticipate what’s going to happen.”


He points to the group’s diversification around 2015, when it saw a need for downsizers, and decided to start focusing on products that cater to downsizers and those seeking retirement living.
Artist's impression of Third.i's latest project - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Artist's impression of Third.i's latest project in Australia is Dairy Farmers Towers in Newcastle, New South Wales (Credit: Third.i Group)
Last November, Third.i and Phoenix Property Investors sold their office development project in North Sydney to a joint venture between Lendlease and Keppel REIT for A$327 million. Construction of the 10-storey building is currently underway, and scheduled for completion in 2023.
“We think there’s going to be a revival in the Grade-A office market,” says Berry. “Buildings will need to inspire people to return to the office. And that’s why we’re now investing in that space.”
The group has also incorporated ESG (environmental, social and governance) into its business by creating housing for young people with disabilities. Today, Third.i is one of Australia’s biggest providers of specialist disability accommodation or SDA.
In the UK, Third.i has a collaboration with Paragon Asra, a provider of affordable housing for public sector employees. Both at Graphite Square and at 58–70 York Road, about 30% of the units have been set aside for affordable housing. “We’ve partnered with Paragon Asra to identify more sites like Graphite Square, and we’re creating more housing for people that need them,” adds Berry.
Third.i’s Kurraba Residences at Kurraba Point - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Third.i’s Kurraba Residences at Kurraba Point, which offers 180-degree views of Sydney’s iconic harbour, including the Sydney Opera House and the Botanical Gardens (Credit: Third.i Group)

Presence beyond Australia

The most recent Australian project showcased in Singapore was Third.i’s Kurraba Residences at Kurraba Point, which offers 180-degree views of Sydney’s iconic harbour, including the Sydney Opera House and the Botanical Gardens. The project was launched in Australia in November 2020, and 70% of the 24 units were taken up over one weekend.
The project was shown to a select few at a private launch in Singapore, jointly organised with Savills. “The project sold so well that we were only left with the big units,” recalls Sedgwick.
Its latest project in Australia is Dairy Farmers Towers in Newcastle, New South Wales. The site is known as Dairy Farmers Corner, as it was once home to Dairy Farmers, one of Australia’s largest dairy producers. The new residential development will have 184 apartments in two high-rise towers of 27 storeys (90m) and 30 storeys (99m) respectively. They will be among the tallest residential towers in Newcastle. To date, “we have launched and sold close to 100 units.” says Berry.
With Third.i now building a development pipeline in the UK, the developer has decided to set up an office in Singapore, headed by Sedgwick. “We’ve always wanted to establish a presence in Singapore, and now that we have a foot in both camps [the UK and Australia], we’re ready for that,” says Berry.

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