Apartments in Jewel’s $1.5b Gold Coast ‘ghost towers’ finally hit the market

The company behind Jewel, the imposing $1.5 billion development that has stood idle like ‘ghost towers’ on the Surfers Paradise foreshore during the Gold Coast’s biggest property boom, has finally pulled the trigger on an official campaign to sell apartments following a decade of promise.

AW Holding Group, which assumed ownership of the controversial development in 2019, has timed the $60 million release of 40 apartments to capitalise on the recent opening of The Langham, Gold Coast in one of the three Jewel towers that occupy the 1.1ha beachfront site.

Construction of the project, which ha been hampered by a complex history of ownership since the site was first acquired by Ridong Group for $89 million in 2011, was all-but completed by fellow Chinese developer Dalian Wanda in 2019. Dalian Wanda stepped into the project in 2014 as majority shareholder before later assuming full ownership of the development.

The latest marketing campaign represents a major delay since the official launch of the project by Dalian Wanda seven years ago, which led to just a dozen apartments being sold by 2016.

While Jewel appears to be late to the property party on the Gold Coast, after two years of unfettered demand for apartments in Australia’s tourism capital only now starting to ease off, AW Holding Group says the timing of the release was always intended to be after The Langham’s opening.

The 339-room Langham, which took its first guests in June, occupies the central tower of the Jewel complex, the largest of the three towers. Yuhu Group, which assumed control of Jewel in 2018, undertook a $100 million refurbishment of the project after construction was completed to accommodate the luxury hotel brand. The project is now controlled by AW Holding Group.

“The Langham, Gold Coast has been extremely well received and we believe the timing is now right to release a collection of apartments in Jewel Private Residences,” says AW Holding Group director of sales and marketing Yutao Li.

“By partnering with The Langham, Gold Coast we’ve aligned every aspect of Jewel Private Residences with the highest levels of luxury, comfort and prestige style of this globally renowned hotel brand.”

The first release of the Jewel Private Residences is known as the Sapphire Collection in tower one, the northernmost building in the complex, which offers 40 apartments priced from $800,000 to $6.5 million. The apartments provide various layouts of one, two and three bedrooms.

TOTAL Property Group managing director Adrian Parsons, the marketing manager of Jewel Private Residences, says the apartment release still meets an undersupplied market on the Gold Coast beachfront.

“We are expecting a lot of interest from Sydney and Melbourne buyers as well as Brisbane and Gold Coast locals, considering the Gold Coast’s growth and undersupply of luxury property,” says Parsons.

“This is such an iconic landmark development that is already completed. Everything else is either in planning or under construction.

“Considering the strength of the Gold Coast market, we don’t expect this limited collection of 40 apartments to remain on the market for very long.”

The latest Urbis Apartment essentials report for the third quarter showed that while sales more than halved from a record 690 a year earlier, Gold Coast new apartment supply is still below historical averages with only 8.8 months of supply remaining in the market at the current sales rate.

Jewel has traditionally not been factored into the Urbis reports as the apartments have not officially been on the market, despite the project having been effectively completed three years ago.

Parsons says he has fielded 300 preliminary inquiries for apartments in Jewel  ahead of the official marketing campaign over the past two weeks, with many coming from Gold Coasters.

“Some of the apartments have tenants in already and we will look to sell those to investors,” he says. “Investor interest in the Gold Coast is at an all-time high.”   

The development comprises 521 apartments and 169 hotel suites, with the Sapphire Collection among 232 apartments in tower one over 41 levels.

The Langham, Gold Coast accounts for all the stock in the middle tower including 170 serviced apartments above the hotel suites.

Originally valued at $900 million, Jewel is now classed as a $1.5 billion development reflecting capital growth in Gold Coast beachfront apartments over the past decade.

AW Holding Group emerged as the sole owner of the development following a buyout of Dalian Wanda’s stake by Yuhu Group in 2018.

Yuhu, a Sydney-based company backed by Chinese interests, at the time also bought Dalian Wanda’s interest in the One Circular Quay mixed-use development in Sydney. Yuhu no longer has an equity interest in either development.

AW Holding Group also owns One Circular Quay, another project that remained dormant for several years as the ownership changed from Dalian Wanda to Yuhu.

The company earlier this year secured Waldorf Astoria for the property where the luxury hotel chain plans to establish its first Australian hotel. The Hilton group expects the 220-room Waldorf Astoria to open in 2025.

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