Cinnamon Life apartments 65% pre-sold, including 6 penthouses
By Uwin Lugoda
John Keells Holdings’ (JKH) Cinnamon Life has pre-sold 65% of the floor area in their project’s residential towers – “The Residence” and “The Suites” – including six penthouses out of the 25 presidential suites and penthouses on offer.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday (27) during a tour of the property, John Keells Holdings Assistant Vice President, Head of Sales – Property Group Nadeem Shums stated that 65% of the buyers were local, 25% were expats, and 7-8% were foreign investors. The prices for the residential apartments start from $ 400,000.
Cinnamon Life is JKH’s biggest project in Sri Lanka to date, and is being built with an investment of $ 850 million. Built as the city’s lifestyle capital, it will feature a five-star Cinnamon Hotel with 800 rooms, a state-of-the-art 30-storey office tower, shopping and entertainment spaces, theatres, restaurants, and premium residential apartments.
Shums stated that they were currently pushing as hard as possible to sell as many units as they can prior to completion, but stated there will be a certain percentage remaining, which would work in their favour as pricing at the time would reflect that finished product.
The residents of each building are given access to the swimming pools, gymnasium, sauna room, and rooftop area.
Tie-ups with banks
Shums also spoke of the high-end real estate industry and how it was harder for young professionals to buy apartments because of the high upfront mortgage payments. To combat this, Cinnamon Life has been in discussions with banks such as DFCC, HNB, and Nations Trust on new mortgage programmes for young professionals, reducing the entry barrier.
“If you look at a Rs. 30 million apartment, someone would have to put Rs. 12 million upfront, looking at conventional mortgage packages. So, we worked very closely with the banks to reduce that entry amount.”
Shums stated that they worked on a plan where they take 10% upfront – the amount the company pays the developers – and the balance of 20% can be paid over the project period. This means that the payments made by buyers in the first four or five years of the project are only interest repayments. The capital repayment will kick in after the project’s completion.
“If the customer is a young professional, we told the banks to focus on where they will be in the next 5-10 years, career wise, and work the mortgage accordingly, instead of calculating the mortgage based on their current status.”
The massive project was first conceptualised by the John Keells Group in 2012, and broke ground in 2014, after which the apartments were put up for sale. Shums said that the project will reach completion by 2021, with the two apartment buildings as well as the office building being completed in the first few months of 2020.
Commenting on the construction process thus far, JKH Property Group Chief Marketing Officer/Executive Vice President Roshanie Jayasundera-Moreas said: “We are pleased with the progress made to date, on this ground-breaking project. You can now start to see the scale of the project, changing Colombo’s skyline. We are pleased to report that 93% of the structural work has now been completed.”
The two apartment buildings come on either side of the main hotel and shopping centre. The Residence is a 45-storey tower consisting of 38 residential floors and features a mix of231 two to five bedroom apartments ranging from 1,130 sq. ft. to 4,722 sq. ft. while The Suites is a 39-storey building featuring a total of 196 two bedroom apartments ranging from 1,267 sq. ft. to 1,273 sq. ft., and four bedroom units at 3,832 sq. ft.
Changing Colombo’s skyline
When asked if other luxury apartment developments around Cinnamon Life would affect its value negatively in any way, Shums stated that it would not affect the value in the slightest, and that they, in fact, see this as an advantage to have all of these around Cinnamon Life.
“Not at all; we see it as a value addition to have developments like this around us, and I think our customers see it that way too.
“This is because when you have iconic buildings around you it makes Cinnamon Life the centre of attraction right in the middle. Just picture the building at night, once it’s all lit up; it will be like any other downtown city around the developed world.”
Cinnamon Life is an iconic mixed development project that spans 4.5 million sq. ft. and in addition to the apartments, it will also house the largest five-star hotel in Sri Lanka with 800 rooms at the heart of the property.
Speaking about the hotel, Shums stated that they were mainly targeting MICE tourists from India as it is a largely untapped market. The hotel will feature over 50 suites together with signature, world-class restaurants and chic bars.
In addition, there will be a 30-storey state-of-the art office tower which will be a hub for multinational companies setting up in Sri Lanka and the leading business address in Colombo.
JKH is confident that most expats who will work at the Cinnamon Life office tower will prefer to live within the development, which would enhance rentals.
The entire complex will also have a mall spanning five levels which would include restaurants, retail outlets with famous brands, cinemas, and other entertainment options.