Resort Style Living Without the Luxury Price Tag

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-By Aleisha Parr

You are standing in a gazebo on a rooftop overlooking a thriving city below. Around you, timbre decks meander through a lush garden oasis complete with a stunning infinity pool, thirty metres long and two stories high. A second water feature flows from the outside into an equally beautiful interior.

This is resort style at its finest. Remarkably, this isn’t the description of a tropical getaway in Bali, but rather, Top Ryde, one of Crown Group’s latest residential developments in NSW.

Crown Group’s CEO, Iwan Sunito describes the experience as akin to arriving at a destination, only to find you never want to leave your hotel room. “Our experience has been that creating spaces where the residents can settle in and – especially on the weekends – can just enjoy, is the way to go in creating residential developments.”

The $350 million Top Ryde project is one of Crown Group’s largest to date, offering approximately five hundred sky rise residential units. Situated on the top of a brand new shopping centre and overlooking Sydney, the building boasts over 4000 square feet of garden, in addition to its infinity pool, movie theatre, piano lounge and even a karaoke bar – a feature which Mr Sunito cheerfully describes as one of its most popular.

“My personal background is as an architect,” says Mr Sunito. “I graduated from NSW University with the award for best residential design, so that passion channels through in every design we do. It’s about creating a place where people love to live.”

Perhaps even more impressive than Crown Group’s designs are its price tags. While the group prides itself on quality design and exquisite resort-style details, it also recognises that a residence needs to be affordable. “Part of the product that is unique in itself is that we achieve all of that quality of design at a price that is quite competitive in the market space. It’s a BMW at the price of a Honda, and that’s quite difficult to duplicate, while maintaining the low price.” This delicate balance is one of Crown Group’s strong suits, with an exceptional consumption rate to prove it.

“The design has to be beautiful but at the same time it has to be efficient, because you can design the most beautiful building in the world, but if it’s not efficient, that’s where you start losing all the revenue. If it’s too expensive, most people just can’t afford it so the construction rate will become quite slow… People won’t buy in a hurry unless they see value. The teamwork, the resort living, it’s a critical key for us to grow.”

With its skill in recognising the right deal when it comes along, Crown Group has maintained a strong cash flow, helping it to weather all three of Australia’s recent financial crises. Incredibly, the GFC was actually an impressive growth period for the group, with the strength of its cash flow helping it to close deals quickly while other companies were unable to.

“We have grown and grown, but we never grow for the sake of growing.” Mr Sunito explains: “We don’t buy sites just to grow, we buy sites when it is a good project to pursue, and I think that strategy has paid off; we have overcome all three crises.”

Crown Group’s project selection strategy has two main criteria: that it is a financially sound deal, well above the margins of market fluctuations, and that it offers future residents a sound investment on their purchase. This second criteria is what ensures that all of Crown Group’s investments pay off quickly. This long-term security is created by setting apart the development from others in its area, creating a unique and highly desirable living experience in a convenient location. Without this differentiation, the market can become price-driven and the quality frequently becomes negligible. Crown Group prides itself on designing and building properties that are completely unique, offering clients stronger value for their money and beating the competition on both quality and price in the process.

Further to its resort-style aesthetic, Crown Group also offers some extraordinary green design options for its clients, looking beyond mere sustainability into the future of automated living. This includes smart home systems where clients can control their home even from remote locations such as work. This technology has been particularly useful for some of Crown Group’s clients whose faith permits them from doing any work on certain days of the week – the technology can do the work for them!

Iwan Sunito explains that the company looks beyond Australia to the larger urban areas of the world, in particular Asia, where apartment living is quite advanced. Through this research and exploration, Crown Group has been able to implement design strategies that are “quite ahead of other builders in the area.”

With the NSW residential market currently underproviding for its housing needs, Mr Sunito is confident in his company’s continued growth in this market. Says Mr Sunito, “2010 has almost been the turning point of the company where the company has grown from that small operation to a large-sized operation and it can only just keep growing as a group and it’s growing in a good way. We are open to groups out there that are exploring with a financial capacity that are looking for synergy.”

This forward thinking has been the enabling force behind all of Crown Group’s success in the industry. From its initial $28 million development project back in 1996 to its current $1.5 billion dollar project range, the company’s growth has been phenomenal. Looking to the future, the company is excited to pursue new projects and new partnerships.

Home Automation

Call it ‘domotics,’ and you are likely to receive a blank stare, but refer to it as ‘smart home’ or ‘home automation,’ and you will get a nod of acknowledgement. For the past few years, consumers have heard the word ‘smart’ attached to countless products and services, from food and drink to snacks like popcorn and mobile phones, which no one seems to refer to as a ‘cellphone’ anymore. Yet what, exactly, constitutes ‘smart’?

July 14, 2020, 10:53 AM AEST