Escada’s boutique luxury a winner in slower market

THE Meriton group says its second foray into boutique luxury, Mascot building Escada, has sailed through a down market with enthusiastic support from owner-occupiers.

The 12-level building has been completed, ahead of schedule, on an O’Riordan Street site bought for $25 million 18 months ago.

James Sialepis, the Meriton director of sales, yesterday said Escada was launched as the Sydney apartment market was ‘on the slide’.

“The timing for Escada’s release was not ideal, but its overall success is a testament to the unique offering and the clever execution of all involved.

“As the market struggled to gain any momentum 12 months ago, we saw an opportunity to provide a product that a niche market would absorb and, thankfully, that market responded.

“We agreed that Mascot was an in-demand area, but capitalised on a location just outside the centre and provided bespoke finishes as a point of difference and at prices that reflected those attributes.

“We expected selling the Escada apartments to be harder work given that buyers were taking a step back from the market.

“The opposite was the case, especially in terms of owner-occupiers.

“They were prepared to pay a premium for a product that offered a touch of sophistication.”

Mr Sialepis said the upshot was that nearly 80 of Escada’s 111 apartments had sold and 70 per cent of the sales were to owner-occupiers, who generally tended to gravitate to buildings with a higher level of finish.

He said nine of the owner-occupiers were first-home buyers.

“The even better news is that nearly 50 per cent of the development has settled and with zero settlement defaults, which is unprecedented in today’s climate.”

The Escada sales included four of the building’s seven penthouses, which each had private rooftop terraces that, apart from offering all-encompassing views of the Sydney city skyline and Botany Bay, included outdoor kitchens with bar fridges and barbecue areas.

Mr Sialepis said that with the market taking a ‘very positive’ turn and, with all apartments completed, Meriton expected Escada to sell out quickly.

“We are now looking for other boutique luxury opportunities as they broaden our offerings to buyers.

“We recently acquired 551-559 Gardeners Road at Mascot, a property which has development approval for 110 apartments, and we intend to continue with the same boutique luxury offering

“Mascot is in the mix again – it’s a happening suburb that has become a lifestyle option for many people thanks to a growing array of retail, restaurants and cafes and new childcare centres.

“Another plus is that it’s within easy reach of both the CBD and the airport — Mascot train station is 400 metres away.”

Escada has been overseen by Ariel Hendler, a Meriton development manager and grandson of the 56-year-old group’s founder, Harry Triguboff.

The project was instigated in the wake of Ariel’s older brother, Daniel, achieving a sellout success with the first boutique luxury project under the Meriton banner, VIDA, also at Mascot.

The remaining Escada apartments start at $655,000.


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