16 June 2018


A two-level "super penthouse" being marketed for $35 million sets a record for the asking price of a New Zealand apartment, according to its salesman.

The apartment is in the 57-level $300m Pacifica rising in Auckland's CBD and Gavin Lloyd, CBRE national residential projects director, says a $3.5m deposit is sought.

"This will set a record. There's been nothing sold like this before in New Zealand," Lloyd said.

Developers of a nearby apartment tower, Seascape Auckland on Customs St East, say that at 187m, their tower will be taller than the 178m Pacifica and they will ask "more than $20m for the master penthouse which will occupy two floors with five bedrooms, roughly 350sq m and astonishing 360 degree views".

But Lloyd doubts Seascape's penthouse could eclipse Pacifica's and expects the penthouses of both properties to be about the same dizzying height.

Both blocks are to be 57 levels, but Shundi Customs says its Seascape will be 9m taller than The Pacifica.

Construction work on both towers is at the lower levels and it will be at least two years before the multi-million dollar penthouses are finished on either site which are just a block apart and a block from the waterfront.

New Zealand businessman and White House aide Chris Liddell has reportedly paid a deposit for the $15m penthouse apartment in The International, the ex-Fonterra headquarters at 9 Princes St, being converted into residential use. That will span the entire top floor of the building overlooking the waterfront and CBD. Developer Gary Groves has said the penthouse has sold, but neither he nor Liddell have confirmed the deal.

Lloyd said the Pacifica "super penthouse" would be on levels 53 and 54. The three levels above that are for services so the penthouse is on the highest residential floors.

Each penthouse floor will be 636sq m so the apartment would be about five times the average New Zealand house, Lloyd said. The penthouse would have four bedrooms, separate guest suite, formal lounge, chef-style kitchen, butler's kitchen, banquet-style dining area, cellar and wine tasting room, media room, library, gym, sauna, spa and steam room, art gallery, sky garden with double-height ceiling, personal office, board rooms and up to 12 parking spaces.

He expects a New Zealander to buy it: "If someone like Steven Adams earning about US$100m a year is interested, we could put in a couple of basketball courts. Don't under-estimate the wealth that's in the local market."

Ollie Wall, of Graham Wall, said the most expensive apartment that business had sold was the 2016 sale of the White Heron penthouse for $8m.

John Banks' multi-million dollar Auckland CBD penthouse - complete with silk-lined walls and marble-clad bathrooms and floors - was on the market in 2016. The 382sq m pad on the 23rd floor in the Stamford Residences was marketed by Sotheby's International Realty for $5.25m.

Nick Goodall, research head at CoreLogic NZ, said: "Apartment sales are a notoriously messy property type to analyse due to the fact many are sold in multiples so you can't always pinpoint an individual sale price for each unit. I've pulled out a couple that were individual sales," he said.

Unit 402 at 424 Remuera Rd sold for $8.7m on May 25 last year, he said. A unit at 4A/154 Saint Stephens Ave, Parnell went for $8m on 21 March 2016 and unit 3601/1 [Metropolis] at Courthouse Lane in the CBD went for $7.85m on May 2 2014, Goodall said.

Lloyd said the world's most expensive penthouse sale was $177m for an apartment in London's Knightsbridge, reportedly to Global Radio founder Ashley Tabor, and $142m was paid for the penthouse apartment of Manhattan's One57 tower. That residence is owned by technology magnate Michael Dell.

"Australia's most expensive apartment is set to become a luxurious Sydney penthouse which property developer John Boyd has listed for $70m," Lloyd said. That is the top three floors of the ANZ building.

In 2016, a penthouse apartment in the new Opera Residences Development in Sydney's Bennelong Pt sold for A$26m off the plan, beaten by a second luxury penthouse in the same development, sold for A$27m.

In 2014, the Herald reported how the six-bedroom penthouse above the Hilton on Princes Wharf, with an asking price of $10 million, went for just $900,000. The 911sq m place, nearly five times the size of the average New Zealand home, was owned by former rich-lister and property developer David Henderson, who developed Princes Wharf via his Kitchener business.

In 2014, the Herald reported how British hedge fund founder Richard Magides paid $7.85m for a 930sq m penthouse on the Metropolis tower's 36th floor.

Lloyd said deposits had been taken on more than 180 Pacifica units.

"More than 70 per cent of the apartments have been sold," he said.

Builder Icon had a tower crane on the site between Commerce St and Gore St in the Britomart area and the building's core stood about 15m to 20m, Lloyd said.

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