Developer collaborates with Starck for luxury residential project

Luxury-end private residences in Singapore are facing price pressures, and one developer hopes to get around that by having a famous brand-name designer work on its project.

Heeton Realty – a joint venture between Singapore developer Heeton Holdings and JP Morgan – is counting on the collaboration with a company co-founded by well-known French designer, Philippe Starck, to draw in the buyers.

It is hoping that this marketing strategy will help sales at its upcoming development that is located just outside the prime Orchard Road area at Grange Road.

Danny Low, COO & executive director of Heeton Holdings, said: “For people who want to buy a brand, it’s like buying a Mercedes Benz. If you want to buy a brand, you don’t care what the market is. You want to be the first to own it and you must remember that Philippe Starck is a worldwide-acclaimed name.”

The 28-unit development will have its interiors, common areas and landscaping exclusively designed by a company co-founded by Philippe Starck.

The collaboration with the French designer is costing Heeton Realty more than US$2 million. But developer believes it will be able to sell its units at a 15 to 30 per cent price premium over other properties in the area, despite the current slow sales in the high-end residential sector in Singapore.

Heeton Realty said it has seen strong interest from at least two serious buyers at this stage.

The joint venture is also planning for more developments here in the year ahead.

Bryan Southergill, executive director and head of Asia Real Estate, Global Special Opportunities, JP Morgan, said: “There’s been some consolidation recently. We’ve got a global credit crisis unfolding right now.

“But in the long term, with the IR (integrated resorts), gaming, Marina Bay, F1, and everything else Singapore has going for it, there will be strong and stable demand for projects.”

Construction on the luxury residential project will begin late this year or early 2009.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 28 Jul 2008

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