Crown Group celebrates 25th anniversary with $5 billion development pipeline

One of Australia’s most awarded property developers, Crown Group, celebrates its 25-year anniversary this October with an impressive portfolio of luxury mixed-use developments successfully delivered, and many more in the pipeline.

The company has grown from being a single residential project developer, with its first apartment development in Bondi Junction, to a vertically integrated, privately owned group developing residential, retail and hotels in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Los Angeles.

Founded by architect, Iwan Sunito and engineer, Paul Sathio in 1994, much of the company’s success can be attributed to having its own construction division which has allowed the close control of the development process. It also owns and manages many of its large-scale retail and hotel offerings together with several industrial sites combining to provide multiple, strong, ongoing income streams.

Development pipeline circa $5 billion, developing around 8000 apartments

Today, the company has a development pipeline valued at circa $5 billion involving the development of almost 8000 apartments and serviced apartments, plus approximately 30,000 sqm of retail space.

Crown Group has become synonymous with developments that make bold architectural statements, pushing the envelope on design and working with critically acclaimed local and international architects – a calculated risk that has paid off in spades.

Not only has the Group earned a reputation as one of Sydney’s most dynamic developers, it has been applauded by industry for its courage, but also its ability to deliver, by winning more than 50 international, national and local awards – some of them the most coveted around the world.

Chairman and Group CEO Iwan Sunito says the past 25 years has been a journey and a lesson in testing our mantle and seeing what might be possible when you challenge the status quo which is what the market wants.

“The company has experienced three evolutions in our 25-year history. Firstly, we started as a small-scale developer of single building apartment projects. Our second evolution was to develop mixed-use projects incorporating retail and hotels together with residential apartments now synonymous with resort style amenity. We are now embarking on our third evolution, the development of larger precincts with more facilities, specialised services, a vast array of amenity and the incorporation of build to rent.

The secret to Crown Group’s success

“Our focus has always been acquiring sites in prime locations with the opportunity for the greatest value uplift and never compromising on quality and design, even in the toughest times,” Mr Sunito reflected.

“This has earned us the trust and loyalty of our community of buyers, hotel guests, retail and industrial tenants and dare I say, the respect of our peers.”

“I truly believe that was made possible by the professional and committed staff, divisional leaders and consultants we’ve assembled over the years. One thing we have in common is we don’t like to settle for anything less than extraordinary and we are very pleased that our collective creativity, market knowledge, strategic foresight and pioneering methods have proven the test of time.”

Steve Mann, UDIA NSW CEO, says Crown Group embodies tenacity and quality and he congratulates the team on 25 years of success.

“Crown Group is a valued member of UDIA NSW and has demonstrated a relentless focus to deliver excellence in all its projects over the past 25 years. Crown Group is the Gold

Sponsor of our annual industry Awards for Excellence program, demonstrating the best of urban development and design across NSW and the ACT. Iwan generously volunteers his time mentoring our aspiring industry leaders as part of the UDIA NSW & nbn Legends & Legacy Program.”

Looking ahead

Mr Sunito says the pandemic has created a huge shortage of supply of apartments in metro CBD’s; and as international borders start to open, the major capital cities will struggle to meet the demand of the influx of returning Australian expats and students.

“We’re looking to rapidly acquire larger sites to accommodate our evolving business model which incorporates Build to Rent, hotels, residential apartments, commercial and retail,” he added.

“The pandemic has also uncovered new trends in the way people want to live and work – spacious living and working areas in the home with an abundance of natural light, close connection to greenery, access to private and communal outside space and resort style amenity. This has always been the mainstay of our design.”

The defining projects for Crown Group are as follows:

· Gallery in Parramatta completed in 2009 – the developers’ first residential project with resort-style amenity and was sold out before completion.

· Top Ryde City Living completed in 2014 – significant in that it was the first major residential development built above a major suburban shopping centre.

· Infinity by Crown Group completed in November 2019 – showcased innovative, ground-breaking design and was Crown Group’s first major mixed-use development with residential apartments, serviced apartments, retail and convention centre.

· Waterfall by Crown Group recently completed in November 2020 – embraced biophilic design creating a rainforest effect including the tallest man-made waterfall in the southern hemisphere.

Crown Group continues to push the envelope when it comes to innovative design in mixed-use environments with its upcoming Mastery by Crown Group in Waterloo; The Grand Eastlakes in Sydney’s eastern suburbs; a sculptural town in Melbourne’s Southbank art district; a luxury riverfront project in Brisbane and a mixed use project in downtown Los Angeles.

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