Cathedral Towers luxury penthouses priced at $5 million

Cathedral Towers luxury penthouses priced at $5 million

An artist's impression of the Cathedral Towers apartment complex planned for 26 Cathedral Square.

(An artist’s impression of the Cathedral Towers apartment complex planned for 26 Cathedral Square.)

Five million dollars will buy what are probably Christchurch’s priciest apartments – the penthouses in the planned luxury Cathedral Towers.

The first of the two duplex apartments is being advertised now with barbecue decks, spa and lap pools, high-tech controls, car lifts and electric car-charging. They will sit atop the 15 and 12 storey buildings consented late last year for 26 Cathedral Square.

Work on the $60 million project is scheduled to start in April or May with the first apartments due for completion late next year. The two towers, the first new buildings for Cathedral Square since Canterbury’s earthquakes, are planned by developers REV3 for the cleared site between the Heritage and former Millennium hotels.

Work will begin on the apartments in April or May.

(Work will begin on the apartments in April or May.)

While prices are listed as negotiable, an indicative price list tags the first 278-square metre top floor penthouse at $3.4m, featuring three bedrooms, an office, snug, and four bathrooms. It could cost almost $5.1m if buyers want the large outdoor decks, pools and car parks.  Annual body corporate fees would be close to $24,000.

REV3 director John Fernando said the penthouses would be configured to suit buyers.

The penthouses will sell for about $5 million, if buyers want the outdoor areas and car parks.

(The penthouses will sell for about $5 million, if buyers want the outdoor areas and car parks.)

“Buyers with $5m to spend are quite fussy. With that amount of money they can buy whatever they want, so they they can get it exactly how they’d like it.”

Fernando said interest in the penthouses had come from in and out of Christchurch, and from overseas. He was confident they would find buyers.

“There are local people who had million-dollar houses before the earthquakes and they are looking for something luxurious.

The ground floor will have a cafe, shops and a walkway linking Cathedral Square to Hereford St.

(The ground floor will have a cafe, shops and a walkway linking Cathedral Square to Hereford St.)

“There hasn’t been anything like this available.”

The price list shows smaller apartments in the 50-unit complex range from 38sqm studio apartments for $318,000 to a two-bedroom apartment for $880,000. Advertising describes all of the complex’s pre-construction prices as negotiable.

For the $8000-a-metre pricetag, buyers would get the sort of technology that would “be common in 10 years”, Fernando said.

At least 20 of the apartments are intended to be professionally managed as visitor accommodation.

Marketing agent Tariq Kundan, of Mike Pero Real Estate, said the prices “depend on the client, and how much money they have got”.

Fernando and and fellow directors Ivan Presquito and Vincent Ho paid about $3m for the land, formerly the Heritage tower site. They had originally hoped to start building last year.

The two towers will be built separately and connect above street level to span Westpac Lane between the Square and Hereford St. A cafe and restaurant will be included.

Fernando said the project was fully financed and they did not need pre-sales to start construction. They will open an on-site showroom with virtual reality holograms in a few weeks.

Other luxury apartments for sale in central Christchurch include a price-negotiable 210sqm apartment in the Parkbridge complex on Park Tce, and the $1.05m penthouse in the planned complex at 818 Colombo St. Apartments planned for the nearby east frame, a Crown-led rebuild anchor project, will be priced from about $400,000 to $900,000.

A five-bedroom 540sqm Fendalton house set a record for the city last year when it sold for $5.65m.

 – Stuff



High Spec Apartments on the Edge of Red Zone

High Spec Apartments on the Edge of Red Zone

First Major High Spec Apartments Investment on the Edge of Red Zone Underway

The innovative directors behind property company REV3 Developments demonstrated their commitment to regenerating the East of Christchurch, as the first sod was turned today on their ‘high spec’ yet affordably-priced 31 apartment complex , Trinity Terraces, in Stanmore Road.

The Stanmore Road complex on TC2 land is the first innovative residential project in the area. Within a short walk of Linwood Village, Trinity Terraces will add appeal to the sometimes struggling east of the city which saw red-zoning of homes after the 2011 earthquakes.

REV3 Developments’ three Christchurch-based directors, said the apartments will be completed by August 2017. Trinity Terraces is their second residential development in the city following an earlier development in Worcester Street.

“It will be one of the biggest apartment developments in Linwood in recent years and is driven by the desire to make new homes fit within the budgets of ordinary Kiwis,” said one of the REV3 Developments directors, Ivan Presquito.

Their design uses solar panels to significantly reduce power costs for the apartment owners and other high spec products including solid granite benchtops, LED lights, fibre-cabling and double-glazing.

In April the company also announced its plans for a multi-use luxury apartment, retail and hospitality complex, Cathedral Towers, to be built on the south side of Cathedral Square.

With Trinity Terraces, Presquito and fellow directors John Fernando and Vincent Ho said they were passionate about delivering innovative and premium housing and excited to have found a way to bring a high spec but affordable option to first home buyers and young professionals wanting to get a foot on the property ladder.

Presquito said the directors were humbled that nearby property owners had thanked the three for the injection of a new project on the main thoroughfare of Stanmore Road saying it would certainly help increase the value of all homes in the area. Business owners were also welcoming the new people and families that would be moving into the area.

As well as the apartment development being a worthy addition to the East, the REV3 team have also organised a street art competition on the project’s temporary frontage as well as a general litter cleanup of the surrounding area. They want to engage the community with these initiatives.

The Stanmore Road complex is REV3’s most eastern project in Christchurch to date and will introduce extra style into the suburb of Linwood, which has only seen a gradual introduction of smaller units, townhouses and duplexes since 2011.

But none are of the size, quality or have the aspirational features of the REV3 Stanmore Road project, the directors say.

The apartments cater for both new home buyers and also a new Christchurch demography that has emerged after the quakes.

“Other new projects are using cheap cladding, and often low specification products, Ivan says. He wants aspiring New Zealanders to be able to afford quality and feel more confident in making their first steps into property ownership.

“The homes will help make the East side of the city aspirational and appeal to returning expats who expect excellent standards,” Presquito said.

The REV3 directors trio have complementary views of design, having grown up in high density Asian cities – Manila, Hong Kong and Colombo. Driven by their love of development they worked with local firm iStructures to ensure their vision was balanced by an achievable build process.

“Istructure’s engineers designed a lightweight steel framing system to achieve strength while reducing building cost. This saved money which was then re-directed back to providing better quality claddings and finishes said iStructures architectual designer Nigel Lamb.

“We also purposefully designed Trinity Terraces to give a sense of community. This is affordable living but not a monolithic ‘block of flats’,” Lamb said.
“Instead the apartments are in five separate and unique groupings across a larger property. The architectural style is truly residential and designed with a village feel.”

Trinity Terraces are proving popular with eight of the Stanmore Road townhouses already sold, and a further eight under offer. Prices range from $259,000 for a one-bedroom unit to $399,000 for a three-bedroom unit.

© Scoop Media


Property developers need right recipe for success

Property developers need right recipe for success


Cash? Skill? Nerves of steel?

What does it take for a successful private property development to get off the ground in central Christchurch?

Alongside busy construction sites there is bare land that has sold and resold as landowners’ enthusiasm to build disintegrates into disappointment.

Projects abandoned or shelved include the rebuild of the old ANZ and BNZ buildings in Cathedral Square, retail and office blocks at the south-west end of the retail precinct, and hotel and office developments for Cathedral Square. Others have had to be been reworked, such as the Miro apartment-turned-hotel plan in Colombo St, or have faced delays, such as The Terrace.

The delayed and cancelled plans have cost developers in wasted engineering, design, consultancy and land-holding costs.

Property professionals say that post-quake, the recipe for success has new ingredients.

Tony Sewell, private property consultant, former chief executive of Ngai Tahu Property and national president of the New Zealand Property Council, says many investors have struggled after being thrust into rebuilding with an insurance or Crown payout settlement.

“Some will be very good at it, some will fail miserably,” he says.

“Developing is as different from investment as rugby is from cricket. In investment the cash flow and tenant covenants are known, but when you go into development you have to know all the risks.

“It’s a risky business, why property developments go broke, and tons of them do. People getting into it think it’s a get-rich-quick scheme and they’re the ones who go bankrupt. It takes a lot of skill,” says Sewell.

“It’s nothing to do with building buildings. You can build buildings till the cows come home and that’s not property development. The building is just a mechanism for a financial transaction. Securing tenants is what makes it work”.

One recent reaction to the tenant problem is brokers with business expertise and contacts stepping in to wrangle deals such as the Millennium Hotel rescue in Cathedral Square.

Another trend is experienced developers teaming up with partners from outside their sector, widening their skill base.  Richard Diver has built several Victoria St buildings in partnership with construction company Clearwater, Miles Yeoman is busy in several parts of the city after joining forces with money man Craig Newbury, and Richard Peebles has a joint venture with the McKenzie and Willis shareholders in his innovation precinct development.

Independent Christchurch development consultant David MacDonald says one of the most valuable lessons property developers have learned is how to choose the right people to work alongside them. And that list of people needed is bigger, post-quake.

“These experienced guys have to marshall their whole team – engineers, architects, construction, fire, the bank, the tenants – and they have to be able to control all that.”

MacDonald says it is a huge help if the developers’ previous projects have been of a similar size and scale, “then they will know what they are doing”.

“It’s hard anyway, not impossible but difficult, but if you are inexperienced you’ll find it much harder in every discipline. It is a multi-disciplinary business.”

Location plays a big part too. In Victoria St and west of the Avon River momentum has made leasing easier, and the same is happening now around the retail, innovation, and justice and emergency precincts where developers such as BNZ Centre’s Nick Hunt are making big strides. Further north, especially around Cathedral Sq, the lack of progress is still deterring some tenants and immobilising landowners.

Jonathan Lyttle, managing director of commercial real estate firm Savills, says the post-quake development environment is “dynamic, you need to be able to change and re-energise”.

“It’s like playing chess in 3D.  We have a unique set of circumstances and people have faced changes in regulation, costs, and supply chains among other things.”

Lyttle says he could count the number of successful developers in central Christchurch since the earthquakes “on two hands” at the most.

He notes that even the sort of property owners with substantial assets or insurance payouts have needed to bring other investors on board, including family members.

Projects around the city with multi-member family investment include the Gough family’s The Terrace, where shareholders include at least five family members over two generations, and the Yeo family’s Awly building development, headed by Anna Yeo, which also has five family investors.

“People are investing not just their whole life savings but in some cases their whole family is too,” Lyttle says.

“They are not just betting the farm, as it were, but the next generation’s farms too. There is a massive leap of faith for these people.”

He says that while experience and family money are extremely valuable and developers such as Philip Carter, Tim Glasson and Antony Gough have business and financial success behind them, he would not discount the potential of younger developers.

“I would encourage anyone who believes they can do it to at least try, providing they have done their due diligence and refinement of feasibility.”

New development groups gaining attention include  REV3, whose Cathedral Towers plan would be a catalyst for Cathedral Square. REV3 includes co-directors Ivan Presquito, an accountant from the Philippines, John Fernando, a chemical engineer from Sri Lanka and Vincent Ho, an electrical engineer from Hong Kong. They are all aged in their 30s and live in Christchurch.

Arrivals from outside the city are also making their presence felt. Auckland-based Patrick Fontein had worked in Christchurch before the quakes but reappeared to do deals including the Vodafone and Kathmandu developments in the innovation precinct. Another Auckland-based operator, Andrew Fonagy, is busy on projects including the Peterborough Quarter proposed for the old convention centre site.

Lyttle says these outsiders can bring an advantage. Overseas groups, however, have failed to make their mark as most have just wanted to “clip the ticket” and not offered expertise, he says.

“We need people who can look at high-level, not just from the trenches.  It has been easy to blame Cera or the council or blame the market if things don’t work out. Coming in from competitive Auckland, for example, you see the opportunity, not the issue.”

He says that with construction costs 25 to 30 per cent higher than Auckland’s but with rents lower, the successful developers are those managing resources and costs and looking at different ways of exploring how and where they build.

“They’re more design- and practicality-focused. They have to be.”

Lyttle defends the reputation of property developers, and says the successful ones want to be part of the new Christchurch, not just make money and move on.

“The public has a perception that developers are fly-by-night, money-hungry beasts, but I certainly don’t see that. I see very thoughtful people who are probably more investment focused than ever.”



 – Stuff

Hotel deals a big boost for central Christchurch

Hotel deals a big boost for central Christchurch

centralTwo major hotel firms have bought into central Christchurch, in a multimillion-dollar sign of confidence in the Cathedral Square area.

One will repair, rebrand and reopen the boarded-up 179-room former Millennium building in the square. The other will build a new 140-room hotel on a vacant piece of the old Press site nearby on Gloucester St.

Both the existing and planned hotels are 14-storeys high.
The 14-storey former Millenium hotel building remains boarded up but has a new owner.

The 14-storey former Millenium hotel building remains boarded up but has a new owner.

The news follows last week’s announcement of a new 200-room Novotel hotel for Christchurch Airport, and concern at the effect of that plan and anchor project delays on hotel development around Cathedral Square. It also follows news of REV3 Developments’ plan to build the Cathedral Towers apartments next to the Millennium site.

The latest buyers are both New Zealand-owned businesses looking to expand nationwide hotel chains to Christchurch.

Southland businessman Geoff Thomson who owns Distinction Hotels, is paying $8.6 million for the former Millennium building.

Engineers and architects are assessing the building. Thomson said they hoped to start repairs in September, when the sale is due for settlement. It is likely to be renamed Distinction Christchurch.

“This is a building worth saving, and a great location. It will help us grow our brand and we need rooms in Christchurch,” he said.

Brian Mansfield, spokesman for the building’s seller Jegual Investments Ltd of Singapore, said after lengthy insurance negotiations the building had been in limbo. Thomson had approached them “with a number we couldn’t say no to”, Mansfield said.

Millennium and Copthorne Hotels New Zealand previously ran a five-star hotel from the building, but have relinquished their lease with no plans to return. The property has a $31.75m rating valuation.

The other hotel chain buying into the area is Auckland-based Sarin Group, which has paid $1.5m for 160 Gloucester St between Press House and Cathedral Junction.

They plan to spend $25m to $30m building a four-star hotel on the vacant land, the old Press print house site.

Sarin Group is co-owned by its chief executive Anuradha Sarin and her husband, Raman Sarin, who have nationwide hotel and events centre interests. Raman Sarin also heads VR Hotel Group, which has more than 1000 hotel rooms in New Zealand, the United States and India.

Raman Sarin said they would build the hotel designed and consented for the site in 2008 for previous owner Ganellen, with only “small adjustments here and there” . The design was part of a three-building plan of which only Press House was built.

Sarin Group is negotiating with a large international company to brand and operate the new hotel. The operator is already in Christchurch, but its identity remains confidential.

The hotel will take under two years to build. Sarin said they were waiting for certainty about the delayed Christchurch Convention Centre to start.

The hotel would not have serviced apartments. Bar and dining facilities and parking would be included, and a vehicle entrance shared with Press House next door.

“It will be a very smart building, with a lot of glass,” Sarin said. “We are very excited about the project, and it will be good for the city as well. It will be one of the newest branded hotels in New Zealand.”

Brian Thomson said his hotel would benefit the Christchurch.

“This will bring more people into the CBD. It will be good for the city and tourism and create vibrancy and foot traffic.”

He said he was not deterred by delays on public projects.

The area already has the makings of a busy hotel precinct.

Developers Canterbury Property Investments are building a Quest Hotel on Gloucester St on the other side of Press House, and want to build another behind it facing Cathedral Square. Novotel and Rendezvous hotels are already on the block, and the Crowne Plaza will reopen in the old Forsyth Barr tower in the next block during 2017.

– Stuff

‘Cathedral Towers’ apartment with rooftop restaurant

‘Cathedral Towers’ apartment with rooftop restaurant

trioNew plans for a $25 million apartment tower complex, with a rooftop restaurant, could prove a breakthrough for Cathedral Square.

REV3 Developments Ltd has bought the vacant Heritage tower site, which straddles Westpac Lane at 26 Cathedral Square. The company will soon seek resource consent to build two new apartment towers and plans to start construction in September.

Director Ivan Presquito said the towers would be nine and 14 storeys high. They would house 72 “high-end” apartments including penthouses, with balconies overlooking Westpac Lane.
The Heritage Hotel tower, behind the Old Government Building, in Cathedral Square before it was demolished. The …

The Heritage Hotel tower, behind the Old Government Building, in Cathedral Square before it was demolished. The Millennium, to the right, is still standing.

Designer stores and cafes will go at street level, professional office suites on the first floor, and a restaurant on top. The complex will be called Cathedral Towers.

No other private or public developments have got off the ground in Cathedral Square post-earthquakes, although groundworks on the library rebuild site facing Gloucester St have started.

This week the Christchurch City Council confirmed its $9.2m Square redevelopment plan was on hold pending progress on projects including the delayed Convention Centre and damaged Christ Church Cathedral.
Demolition work on the Heritage Hotel tower, behind the Old Government Building, in 2013.

Demolition work on the Heritage Hotel tower, behind the Old Government Building, in 2013.

REV3 have paid around $3 million for their site. It is between the existing Heritage Hotel’s Old Government Building and the Millennium Hotel building, and was occupied by the Heritage’s tower building until its 2013 demolition.

The three men behind REV3 are Ivan Presquito John Fernando and Vincent Ho, all professionals and migrants aged in their 30s. They have already developed a sold-out apartment complex three blocks east on Worcester St, and plan another on Stanmore Rd in Linwood.

Presquito says they “cannot afford to landbank” and need to start developing their Cathedral Square land.

“We are younger than a lot of the other developers, and we are keen to get going,” he said.
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“The city should have been rebuilt by now, it is regrowing, but no-one else wants to start. We are here to rebuild.”

Ho said they had received a lot of help from the Canterbury Earthquake Rebuild Authority (Cera) and the Christchurch City Council, with both groups keen to kick-start development in the area.

They hope to start marketing the apartments this month.

Presquito said apartments had sold well in other parts of the central city and he believed their site had “huge potential”.

They expect to sell the homes to well-off professionals who work in town, returning expatriates and others who like “a city lifestyle”.

Prices will range from around $330,000 for a one-bedroom apartment and two bedrooms for $450,000 to between $940,000 and $1.5 million for the penthouses, with car spaces extra. For more than $1.8m buyers can have a whole floor.

Car lifts powered by German technology and software will take residents’ vehicles to their apartment level. New Korean smart home technology will use smartphones to control everything from the alarm and doors to heating and the television, and monitor when family members and the car arrive.

They will use base isolated foundations, which are “over the top” but will give high-rise residents confidence, Fernando said.

Ho said extras such as photovoltaic window glass and an electric car charging station were being considered.

Presquito said the company was looking for the right operator for the top-floor restaurant, “but they must be a good brand or a nice, high-end operator to fit the location.”

The company is also considering another development site in Cathedral Square, but will not yet reveal the location.


– Ivan Presquito, an accountant from the Philippines; John Fernando, a chemical engineer from Sri Lanka; and Vincent Ho, an electrical engineer from Hong Kong.

– All aged in their 30s, living in Christchurch. They are co-directors of the firm.

– Stuff

What’s wrong with Christchurch suburb of Linwood, apartment developers ask

What’s wrong with Christchurch suburb of Linwood, apartment developers ask

1459803606006Property developers planning an apartment complex in the Christchurch suburb of Linwood hope their project will help boost a neighbourhood they believe should be more popular.

The developers, REV3 Developments Ltd, recently bought a double residential site on Stanmore Rd and will build 31 apartments on it.

Going against a trend of cheaper accommodation in the area, they are aiming at young professionals buying a first home or retirees who like city living.

REV3 directors Ivan Presquito, John Fernando and Vincent Ho said the time had come for the neighbourhood to become more in demand.

“We are changing the face of Stanmore,” Presquito said.

“If developers won’t rebuild the area, this place will continue to bear the stigma of being called ‘the hood’. But we will, we want to change that image.”

The trio, all migrants, said they struggled to understand why an area less than a kilometre from the central city was still run down while other inner suburbs were gaining in value.

They believed the area should attract returning expatriates or migrants familiar with apartment living overseas.

“This area needs revitalisation and there are a lot of old, quake damaged houses around here,” Fernando said. “It is just waiting to be developed.”
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They hoped the Linwood Village Master Plan, adopted by Christchurch City Council in 2012, would help boost the neighbourhood.

The masterplan set out how the business centre around the corner of Stanmore Rd and Worcester St could be redeveloped after two-thirds of its buildings were lost in Canterbury’s earthquakes.

REV3’s site was two doors down from the shopping area.

Other than the masterplan, the company’s directors said not much else was being done to improve the area.

“We’ve got a long-term vision, but we’re biting the bullet because we saw an opportunity and we grabbed it with both hands,” Ho said.

The company hoped to start work on the site in May. They would call the complex Trinity Terraces after the nearby Holy Trinity church.

REV3 recently completed and sold a complex of apartments in the central city, and owned land in Cathedral Square.

According to property analyst CoreLogic, market values in Linwood rose 2.8 per cent last year to an average of $322,000. The suburb, particularly the western side near the central city, had a high percentage of rental properties.

– Stuff