Luxury focus as Sammut, Alceon plan $750m of developments
Australian Financial Review
Jun 16, 2021
A joint venture with Alceon Group has supercharged the pipeline of Sydney developer Sammut Group, including a $350 million plan to transform the Cronulla CBD in the city’s southern beach suburbs. The mixed-used urban renewal project, known as Vue, will cover more than 5000 square metres after Sammut Group was able to pull off a complex site aggregation that cost more than $100 million. Sammut Group director Allen Sammut said negotiations took a year, encompassing 24 stakeholders across nine properties.
“In the past 15 years there’s probably been half a dozen developers try to put the site together through various schemes, but no one has been able to fully secure every single tenant and landlord there,” said Mr Sammut.
“It was quite a diverse range of negotiations and because they’ve been approached so many times, obviously expectations were always high. I would put it down to local knowledge and a one-on-one approach.
It is the third project Sammut Group and Alceon have partnered on – two in Cronulla and one on the Gold Coast – and a fourth is on the way. Mr Sammut said the partnership had been a game changer for the business, founded by his father 50 year ago, which specialises in luxury apartment and mixed-used developments around the Cronulla area.
“We’ve formed a great bond with Alceon and probably have about $750 million worth of projects under way,” he said.
They are Vue, another nearby development called Parc, and the company’s first interstate project – Coast, a 35-level apartment building at Surfers Paradise in south-east Queensland.
All are in various stages of planning, while the final project with Alceon, back in Cronulla, is on the verge of being finalised. Sammut Group now had the financial firepower and the ability to grow beyond its Cronulla roots into new markets, Mr Sammut said. Its first foray outside NSW, the $200 million Coast project at 43 Garfield Terrace, Surfers Paradise, had been an immediate success.
More than 70 per cent of the 43 apartments have pre-commitments at prices of between $3.5 million and $9 million, even though development (DA) approval is still pending.
The sales were achieved in just three weeks, a reflection of the extremely strong Gold Coast apartment market. In Cronulla, a development application has also been lodged for Vue, on The Kingsway next to Northies Hotel. Vue includes 112 apartments, plus commercial and retail space featuring flagship launch tenant Harris Farm Markets, which will open its biggest store in Sydney on the site.
Looking forward, Mr Sammut said the company would target lifestyle destinations “anywhere along the eastern seaboard” that are in the sights of cashed-up downsizers.
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