A $100 Million Apartment For Sydney?

Anyone interested in property investment news or if you have a little (or a rather large amount) of cash burning a hole in your pocket should take note:  It seems as though Sydney (and Australia) may get its first $100 million apartment in the form of the penthouse at James Packer’s new Crown Hotel and Casino.  The new venture, currently under construction, is being built at the prestigious Barangaroo site on the waterfront in Sydney’s CBD, and the development is estimated to cost around $1.3 billion to complete.


The plans for the new resort complex, set to open in 2019, currently include a 70 storey six star hotel, 80 luxury apartments, restaurants, bars, and a casino.  While final designs for the resort have yet to be released, the architects who won the competition to design the development, Wilkinson Eyre, have revealed that the top three floors of the hotel will consist of one enormous penthouse.  The building was likely to be taller than the city’s current height restriction of 235 metres because it was granted special licence because of its location near to the edge of the water.  The proposed apartment will have spectacular 360-degree harbour and city views.


Chairman of CBRE, Justin Brown, said that these types of high profile properties were being sold at the moment in cities such as Hong Kong and New York and getting prices in excess of $100 million.  Prestigious developments – including the penthouse at One Hyde Park in London that recently sold for $255 million – are attracting record levels of interest from buyers located across the world.  These types of private international buyers were likely to push the price of the penthouse in Barangaroo into nine figures if it were to come on the market.


The property may also be reserved for people looking for a property investment or international high rollers who would be drawn in by the concept of the VIP-only casino. Under the restricted licence, only members and guests will be able to gamble, there will be minimum bet limits and no poker machines on site.  Interestingly, smoking will be permitted in the restricted gaming area, and air quality equipment will need to be installed to ensure the area meets international standards.


The record for a property in Sydney currently stands at $53 million for the 2010 sale of “Villa Veneto” in Point Piper.  If the new Crown Hotel penthouse sold for $100 million, it would set an impressive benchmark, and put Sydney well and truly on the global property map.  As some commentators have suggested, this may also mean that by selling just the penthouse property, the development could instantly recoup the licence fee it was obliged to pay for the right to operate a casino to the NSW Government.  The development is expected to bring in an estimated $1 billion in taxes to the state government, as well generate around 1,200 jobs and bring in thousands of new international and domestics tourists into the city.




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