THE TIME IS RIGHT FOR A NEW SUNLAND ICON

Written on the 10 August 2012

THE TIME IS RIGHT FOR A NEW SUNLAND ICON

MARINER’S Cove on the Broadwater has been earmarked by the Sunland Group as its first iconic property development in more than a decade.

The ASX-listed company has withdrawn from Dubai and has placed Palazzo Versace on the market as it re-aligns its focus. It purchased land at Mariner’s Cove for $13.5 million in October and Sunland Group Managing Director Sahba Abedian says the time is right for the company to move forward with another project.

But Adedian is keeping details of the project under wraps before a likely unveiling of plans later this year.

“Mariner’s Cove is a fantastic location and it will be a key, iconic project for Sunland and one that we believe will create an environment that is quite unique on the Gold Coast architecturally,” he says.

“It will be a flagship project – there will be nothing quite like it on the Gold Coast. It will be an evolution for us.”

Sunland is no stranger to iconic properties. It built the Broadwater’s Palazzo Versace – the world’s first fashion-branded hotel – and Q1 tower at Surfers Paradise.

It has been almost five years since the Q1 opened and 12 since Palazzo Versace welcomed its first guests, Abedian says the time is right for another.

“Those projects took a lot of time and energy but with them came Sunland’s reputation for producing innovative architecture and we are looking forward to this new opportunity,” he says.

Palazzo Versace is on the market for $80 million, in part to fund the new iconic property. Expressions of interest closed late June and Sam McVay, from McVay Real Estate, which is marketing the property, says interest came from all over the world.

Suitors came from the US, Europe and Australia, but the most likely buyer is from Asia, says McVay. The sale comes 10 months after Sunland acquired full ownership of the property.

Abedian says it wasn’t an easy decision to sell a property with such iconic value to the company and when the property swap with the group’s partners in Dubai occurred in October, he wasn’t expecting to put it on the market.

But Sunland has had enough of managing hotels and simply wants to return to what it does best, designing and developing.

“We have to work for our core business, which is property development and secure strong returns for our long-term shareholders,” says Abedian.

Sunland is forecasting profit after tax for this financial year to be about $14 million.


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