Sirona Capital makes South Perth move

Business News

23rd November 2017.

Local developer Sirona Capital has partnered with Singaporean-owned property management company CEL Australia to deliver a new luxury apartment tower in South Perth.

CEL Australia, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Singapore-listed Chip Eng Seng Corporation, has a large portfolio of residential developments across Australia.

In addition it bought The Sebel Mandurah hotel for $15 million in August.

Sirona Capital has shelved its original development plan for South Perth, following the amendments to the City of South Perth ’s town planning scheme.

The organisation was initially granted approval for a $160 million Woods Bagot -designed development, then known as The Glasshouse, in March 2015.

This project comprised 148 apartments over 38 levels and a small boutique hotel on a 2,000 square metre site located on the corner of Lyall Street and Labouchere Road opposite Perth Zoo.

Sirona expects to submit a new application in the second half of 2018 that responds to the city’s amended town planning scheme for a mixed-use development comprising residential apartments, retail and office suites.

Managing director Matthew McNeilly  said South Perth was the pre-eminent apartment locale in the Perth metropolitan area, and that the proposed development offered a good fit with Sirona’s urban high-density investment plans.

“The real estate doesn’t change, the planning (amendment) just deferred some decision making for us,” Mr McNeilly told Business News.

“We’ve had our foot on the site for a number of years then along came the town planning scheme amendment; we probably chose a different strategy to other developers in that we decided to sit back and see how that played out, because fundamentally the real estate in South Perth is still fantastic.

“The views to the city, Kings Park and the Swan River are unrivalled and the area enjoys excellent amenities and easy access to the CBD and major transport routes.

“Now the amendment has gone through we’ve got some certainty and we're responding to that.”

Mr McNeilly  said Sirona had been in discussions with the Singaporean property and construction group for about 12 months, and had been seeking an appropriate partner for the delivery of apartments for a number of years.

“Chip Eng Seng has a long history of successful apartment development in Singapore and their experience, combined with our ability on the ground here to deliver development capacity, is a really good fit,” he said.

More importantly, Mr McNeilly  said, there was strong bipartisan political support for sensible and socially responsible development and there were strong signs that Perth’s metropolitan area was almost done with urban sprawl.

“Chip Eng Seng, like us, believes in the Perth market,” he said.

“First and foremost, we’re looking at Perth as a great 10- to 20-year opportunity as density starts to become the norm and we start to wind back the urban sprawl, which is what we’re so well known for.

“In my view, we haven’t really scratched the surface of apartment living in this town and I think there’s an opportunity to raise the bar in terms of not only design but functionality and amenity.

“We want to ride that wave of expectation and look to deliver first-class apartment product in the market, and reasonably quickly. I believe there’s strong pent-up demand on the South Perth peninsula.”

A selection process is under way to identify a world-class architect and interior specialist to design the building.