Property magnate Ching Chiat Kwong, who leads Singaporean listed developer Oxley Holdings, is pursuing a post-pandemic side project on the Gold Coast, lodging plans for an ultra-luxury $150 million residential complex at Sovereign Islands.
The prestige property retreat, which lies in the Southport Broadwater, will be home to 10 high-end apartments along with a restaurant, wine bar, pâtisserie, wellness spa and luxury retail outlets.
Through Oxley, Mr Ching has a track record of developing both commercial property and mainstream market apartment towers from London to China. The Singaporean tycoon is also very familiar with Australia, after Oxley took over a Perth builder four years ago. As well, Mr Ching has been spending time in Melbourne this year to attend a lawsuit over the collapse of Newsat, in which he was a major investor.
But it was Mr Ching’s experience of pandemic lockdowns that prompted a wide-ranging rethink on his life, the importance of a home and on what sort of legacy he wanted to leave, the Oxley executive chairman tycoon said.
And it is why his plans for the patch of land he acquired on the Gold Coast location about nine years ago also changed, switching from the well-trodden developer route of maximising the number of apartments built to achieve the best
profit, to scaling the project back to just 10 ultra-luxurious residences.
Sovereign Islands is a personal project,” Mr Ching told The Australian Financial Review during a recent visit to Melbourne.
“This is my pet project. One of the things I haven’t done together with Oxley is a super
luxurious type of development. I want to try to do that. Australia’s Sovereign Islands has given me the opportunity because it is my own affair.
“I want to see how far I can go with my own experience and foresight.”
The Sovereign Island apartments include access to a super yacht-sized marina berths.
Oxley itself has launched 51 projects since listing in 2010: from the massive Royal Wharf mixed use development in London and the Dublin Landings office development in Dublin, to a host of apartment projects in Singapore and the Oxley Towers, hotel and office development in Kuala Lumpur.
In comparison, the Sovereign Islands project, which will get under way early next year, will be very boutique.
“Every phase in your life there must be a favourite, that something that you try, that you really want to do before it’s too late, before you lose your momentum, and before you lose your motivation,” Mr Ching said.
The level of luxury and ocean views at the Sovereign Islands development have already found favour with Mr Ching’s network of high-net worth individuals, which stretches from London to Japan, he said.
Four of the residences, priced between $20 million to $25 million, will be three-storey so-called “water pavilions” encompassing more 1,000 square metres, rooftop entertainment and pool decks, each with standalone access.
The six other residences – three of 350 sq m and three of 550 sq m – will range in prices between $6-$8 million.
The development is based around two three-storey buildings. Less than a short walk is the marina, where residents will have access to the super-yacht-sized berths.
The development’s design itself is loosely based on the billowing forms of boat sails and the shape of a super yacht, a reference to the
Gold Coast’s beach and yachting culture.
“The pandemic changed a lot of people, including myself. I thought I better do something I really want to do. What are the things I really want to do in my life? One of them is to actually do
luxurious apartments with the resources I have such as this beautiful land facing the Pacific Ocean.”