Iris Capital unveils Gold Coast precinct as hospitality giant goes high-rise
Private property and hospitality company Iris Capital has unveiled plans for a new $800m residential and commercial project that will overhaul the centre of Broadbeach and lift it into one of the Gold Coast’s major developer.
The company has ridden the boom in pub properties – and survived the downturn in hospitality – to launch development plans for the a new Gold Coast precinct that will match it with larger players like Meriton and Star Entertainment Group.
The area is surging with a series of local developers selling out new towers as the pandemic drives migration to Queensland and a swing towards domestic tourism is expected even when international borders reopen.
Iris Capital, headed by Sam Arnaout, plans a landmark mixed-use development on the site of the Niecon Plaza which the company acquired for $58m earlier this year.
The project, known as Victoria & Albert Broadbeach, will sport two premium residential towers, backed by a major office and retail area spanning Victoria Ave and Albert Street.
It will be one of the most significant new developments for Broadbeach since The Oracle project was completed a decade ago by the Gold Coast’s prominent Nikiforides family, who originally developed Niecon Plaza.
Sydney-based Iris Capital, which has interests spanning hotels, wineries, land subdivisions and urban renewal projects, is targeting Broad-beach after identifying its as the Gold Coast’s dominant coastal suburb.
Iris Capital is planning two towers on the site, with one tower designed specifically for owner-occupiers and the other for investors.
Both will be topped by two opulent sub-penthouses and an exclusive penthouse.
The company is capitalising on surging demand for larger, premium coastal residences on the Gold Coast.
The west tower, The Victoria, will comprise 114 two, three and four-bedroom apartments. The east tower, The Albert, will have 219 apartments. Residents will also have Podium Club facilities on the fourth level and the retail, dining and office hub will be over two levels.
Among the major projects Iris Capital has under way is the $1bn East End urban renewal development in Newcastle’s centre.
Mr Arnaout said Iris Capital had been looking to expand its operations outside of NSW for some time, initially exploring a move into Victoria.
“However, the way the market is heading and how buyers have responded to southeast Queensland has definitely driven our decision to expand further north as opposed to Victoria,” Mr Arnaout said. “The onslaught of investment and migration into southeast Queensland, the prospect of the Olympics in 2032 and regional growth over the next decade have certainly changed our strategic focus.”
Broadbeach is among the Gold Coast’s biggest development hot spots, led by the $2bn master plan for The Star Gold Coast casino site and the $670m expansion of Pacific Fair.
“Broadbeach is home to some of the Gold Coast’s most iconic developments, among them The Oracle and the Wave building,” Mr Arnaout said.
“Our plan is to add to the Gold Coast’s impressive skyline by creating an impressive new architectural focal point that will become a destination in its own right in the heart of Broadbeach.”
Colliers International will sell units in V&A Broadbeach and oversee the leasing of the retail and office precinct. “This is one of the most exciting projects on the Gold Coast in many years,” Colliers Gold Coast director David Higgins said.
“It is a landmark development that will herald a new era for Broadbeach, enhancing residential and retail diversity of the area. The additional office space within the development will also meet strong underlying demand as Broadbeach enjoys one of the Gold Coast’s lowest office vacancy rates.”
Over the last decade Iris Capital has delivered more than 750 apartments and residential lots across Sydney and Newcastle worth more than $500m. The company has another 10 projects in train that will create a further 1700 apartments worth more than $1.6bn.
Iris Capital’s credentials in property development led to the company’s selection in 2016 from a competitive government tender process to undertake a significant urban renewal project in Newcastle, the $1bn East End development located on the eastern edge of the city’s CBD.
Iris will keep the Niecon Tower office building but clear the rest of the site, which includes two Albert Ave office buildings.
The Niecon Plaza and Niecon Tower were built in the late 80s by the late Bill Nikiforides and son Con. Con, who died in 2017, went on to develop the Oracle towers.
George Raptis bought the Niecon buildings for $22.1m in 1993 and added the two Albert Ave buildings for $18.7m in 2009.
The Raptis package was marketed by Colliers’ Steven King, Samuel Biggins and Jason Lynch and by Peter Court, Mike Walsh and Frederic Le Fanue of Cushman & Wakefield.