SP Setia breaks ground on $565 million apartment tower and hotel to replace former Telstra exchange

From left to right: Regional Managing Director of Multiplex, Graham Cottam, The Deputy President and Group COO of S P Setia, Datuk Wong Tuck Wai, The President & CEO of S P Setia, Dato Khor Chap Jen, The High Commissioner of Malaysia, H.E. Dato, Sudha Devi, The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp, The Chairman of S P Setia, Tan Sri Dato Seri Dr Wan Mohd Zahid, The CEO of Shangri-La Asia Limited, Mr. Lim Beng Chee, The CEO of S P Setia Australia, Datuk Choong Kai Wai

Property heavy hitters including the CEOs of SP Setia’s Australian operations, Mr Choon Kai Wai, and Shangri-La Asia Limited, Mr Lim Beng Chee, gathered with Lord Mayor Sally Cap to break-ground on a proposed apartment building and hotel set to replace a former Telstra exchange at the northern tip of the Melbourne CBD.

SP Setia paid the telecommunications giant $101 million for the 4140 square metre site at 308 Exhibition Street in 2016.

The block is now set to be replaced with a 62-level hotel, to be occupied by Shangri La.

A 60-storey building, branded Sapphire by the Gardens, and containing 300 apartments, will be developed next to the inn.

The two towers (pictured top and bottom) will be joined by a sky lounge on the 46th floor, offering north-facing views over Carlton Gardens and the heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building.

The developer said more than 95 per cent of the apartments sold prior to today’s ground-breaking ceremony.

The event, which included Khamal as part of the entertainment, was attended by over 100 special guests and representatives from industry, government and council.

Multiplex Australia has been charged with constructing the complex.

Part of the entertainment at today’s event.

“Today’s ground-breaking ceremony represents a significant milestone for Setia and further signals our commitment to developing a pipeline of projects that are highly sought after by the Australian
market,” Mr Choong Kai Wai said.

“The secret behind Sapphire By The Garden’s success, with over 95 per cent of the project sold, was the substantial underlying demand for premium, highly-liveable and world class residential apartments in Melbourne’s CBD. The market wanted a high-quality product and we’re proud to have delivered that at this site.”

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.