Consortium of local banks funds optimisation of cash flow at final phase of completion
A consortium of leading local banks, comprising the Bank of Ceylon, NDB Bank and National Savings Bank, has raised a syndicated loan of $ 25 million (Rs. 4.5 billion at current rates) for Sri Lanka’s showpiece high rise property development Altair, in a noteworthy vote of confidence in the prospects for the project as well as for the sector in general.
One of the largest syndicated loans in Sri Lanka’s property development sector in recent times, the loan is intended to ensure cash flows at the final stages of completion of the Altair project are maintained at optimum levels of liquidity, the project’s promoter Jaideep Halwasiya of Indocean Developers said.
This infusion of funds is in addition to the $ 251 million (Rs. 45.6 billion) that has already been invested in Altair by stakeholders, whose offshore investments are subject to the statutory limits specified by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The syndicated loan made up of US Dollar component and Sri Lanka Rupee component is repayable in 18 months with a grace period of six months.
Commenting on the facility structured for Altair, Indocean Developers Director Pradeep Moraes said: “This is a significant development not just for Altair, but for the property development sector in general, in the context of current sentiment in the market and the rising impairment charges and NPL ratios in the banking sector. We commend the three banks for their positive approach to the opportunity presented by Altair.”
The short term syndicated loan was arranged by NDB Investment Bank Ltd. (NDBIB) and Bank of Ceylon. In a letter to buyers of apartments at Altair, Indocean Developers said the security offered under this loan is the only encumbrance placed on the project.
Altair is a one-of-its-kind development in South Asia in terms of architectural design, structural engineering, and living experience. Structural construction has been completed and 70 per cent of its apartments are already sold.
The building comprises of two tower blocks, which are oriented to the movement of the sun to harness the tropical breezes. A 63-storey sloping tower leans in to a taller, 68-storey vertical tower, with a diagrid structure that visually accentuates the slope of the inclined stepped tower. The unique combination of a straight and a sloping tower gives the building the distinctive appearance that has made it an iconic element in Colombo’s rapidly changing skyline.
Acknowledged as a new paradigm in contemporary living in Sri Lanka, the Altair building offers its 400 apartments spectacular views of Colombo’s Beira Lake, the port of Colombo, the Indian Ocean and the city. The diagrid structure is highly rationalised and allows for naturally ventilated and beautifully-lit units that are very private. The staggered stepped form of the leaning tower also allows for large terraces, which provide prime city and direct ocean views.
Altair’s apartments range from 1,468 square foot two-bedroom units to palatial and eponymously appointed Presidential Suites and Sky Villas of up to 5,277 of square feet. Prices range from $ 525,000 to $ 2 million. A distinguishing feature of Altair is that 45% of total space has been set aside for public areas, which is well above the industry average.
June 20, 2019
“Cities must have iconic buildings and structures; this is key to a city’s uniqueness and character,” says Mohandas Saini, Managing Director and CEO of Shapoorji Pallonji International. Akin to how Manhattan is defined by the Empire State Building, Kuala Lumpur by the Petronas Towers and Dubai by the Burj Khalifa. Saini made these remarks on one of his periodic visits to Colombo to review Altair’s progress, scheduled to complete in end-2019.
Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. Ltd., regarded as one of India’s most valuable private companies with a legacy spanning over 150 years, is no stranger to such iconic construction projects. The company was the main contractor of the tallest residential development in India, the 60-story ‘Imperial Towers’ in Toledo Mumbai, completed in 2010. Other iconic projects by global construction giant include the palace of Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said of Oman, Park Towers Dubai, Taj International Hotel Mumbai and the Hilton Riyadh.
Altair, adjudged the best condo in Asia for architectural design at the 2018 Asia Property Awards, was designed by Moshe Safdie, a pre-eminent architect of our time. Safdie’s works can be found across the globe and have become revered regional and national landmarks, including Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, Jerusalem; Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City; United States Institute of Peace Headquarters, Washington DC; and Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort, Singapore.
The unique design of Altair incorporates a 63-story inclined tower connected to the 69-story vertical tower via a strong outrigger at the 39th level. At the height of 240m, the vertical tower is now the tallest residential building in Sri Lanka
The inclined tower utilises structural steel diagonal grids on the exterior of the building giving a permeable surface for expansive floor to ceiling windows as well as acting as a load bearing membrane, minimising the use of interior columns. According to Mohandas Saini, these unique design features led to a particularly complex project from a construction standpoint due to the high degree of precision work required to maintain uniformity that cannot be achieved through traditional fast-tracked methodologies that are commonplace now in high-rise construction in Sri Lanka. Despite the challenges, the superstructure construction work was carried out at a commendable speed with ‘one floor added almost every week’, notes the CEO.
Commenting on the outcome of the superstructure works Saini remarks, “The entire weight distribution was so well engineered, and the workmanship is of such good quality that the level of deviation from original specifications were substantially lower than allowable structural engineering tolerances.”
Structural engineers to this project have been Dubai based Predag Eror of Derby Design, and well known Sri Lankan structural engineer, Deepal Wickremesinghe. Structural elements of the building were independently verified by the University of Moratuwa.
The CEO also says that Shapoorji Pallonji has earned their global reputation not only for their expertise in construction, but for their enduring commitment for the projects they undertake. “We believe in long-term value-added relationships with all stakeholders, often investing our own money in projects we undertake, as we have done so in Altair.” The main shareholder of this $ 250 million project is Kolkata based South City Group, a consortium of firms which has collectively delivered over 150 real estate projects consisting of more than 15 million square feet.
Along with Altair, Shapoorji Pallonji is involved in four other projects in Sri Lanka, including an office building and a water supply project. The CEO remarked that his company is considering engaging in a public-private partnership with the Government with regards to another key project and are open for further investment opportunities in the country.
Speaking of his experience of working in Sri Lanka, Saini says that local engineers have excellent skills and expertise. However, the company had to resort to employing a large foreign workforce due to the shortage of skilled labourers and specialised technicians in the domestic market.February 26, 2019
From left: Altair Director Pradeep Moraes with Chief Guest Maldivian Minister of Housing Aminath Athifa and members of the Altair team that participated in the Maldives Living Expo 2019
Sixteen months after structural construction was completed, Sri Lanka’s showpiece high-rise Altair continues to be an attention-grabber in markets around the world with the latest being the Maldives, where the development was one of the biggest attractions at the country’s longest-running property show. The Maldives Living Expo 2019, which was supported by Altair both as an exhibitor and a co-sponsor, attracted more than 5,800 visitors interested in luxury living options in the archipelago and the region. In its seventh edition, the three-day exhibition focused on home and living lifestyle, offering visitors an opportunity to get more information about upcoming real estate properties, products, services and options available in the Maldives and neighbouring countries. The 30 exhibitors showcased properties ranging from the utmost luxury to affordable living and lifestyle options.
Sri Lanka’s most distinctive and instantly recognised high-rise, Altair is a one-of-its-kind development in South Asia in terms of architectural design, structural engineering, and living experience. The building comprises of two tower blocks, a 63-storey sloping tower which leans in to a taller 68-storey vertical tower. Acknowledged as a new paradigm in contemporary living in Sri Lanka, the Altair building has already brought a new dimension in aesthetics to Colombo’s skyline and offers its 400 apartments spectacular views of the Beira Lake, the Indian Ocean and the city of Colombo.November 16, 2018
Sri Lanka’s contemporary architectural masterpiece Altair has beaten condominium developments in 15 countries in Asia including Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, China and Australia, to win the ‘Best Condo Architectural Design Award’at the 2018 Asia Real Estate Summit (ARES) hosted by PropertyGuru Asia in Bangkok, Thailand.
The only Sri Lankan high-rise ever to be adjudged the best in Asia, Altair was honoured at PropertyGuru’s ‘Best of the Best’ awards, at which individual winners selected at country award events throughout the year, were contenders.
Markets from Sri Lanka to China competed at the largest Grand Final event to date of the 13 year old Asia Property Awards, attended by more than 500 guests, with developers from Japan and Australia making their debut at the ceremony. The countries that competed for awards were Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia, Australia, Japan, Philippines, Myanmar and Cambodia.
“We are justifiably elated at winning this award, which is a tribute to the architectural genius of Moshe Safdie and the vision and courage of the promoters of the project, who had confidence, not only in their ability to build Altair, but also in the market’s potential to do justice to such a remarkable edifice,” Mr Moraes commented. “The word icon is sadly overused today, but by winning this award we have emphatically shown why Altair richly deserves that adjective.’
Among the condominium developments that competed for the ‘BestCondo Architectural Desing in Asia award were ‘8St Thomas’by Bukit Sembawang Estates Limited, Singapore; ‘Alpha City’ by Alpha King, Vietnam; ‘Glorious Mansion’ by Long For Group Holdings Limited, China; ‘Mount Pavilia’ by New World Development Company Limited, Hong Kong; ‘Scenia.Bay’ by Nam Tien Lao Cai Jsc. Co,, Vietnam; ‘Sunplay The Heights Bangsaray’ by Sunplay Asia Limited, Thailand; ‘stirling Residences’ by LN Development (Stirling) Pte Ltd., Singapore; ‘Taman Anggrek Residences’by Agung Sedayu Group, lndonesia; ‘TheCUVEE’by Chaopraya Mahanakorn Public Company Limited, Thailand; ‘The Smith’ by Triniti Land, Indonesia and The Vales’by Anchorvale Residences Pte Ltd., Singapore.
Speaking at the awards event, Terry Blackburn, Managing Director, Asia Property Awards and Property Report of Property Guru noted that “Today, Asia has the fastest growing economies and most exciting real estate markets in the world, and the majority of award winners are Asian developers selling to Asian buyers and are helping millions achieve the dream of home ownership.” He also expressed the hope that the years the Asia Property Awards have spent promoting Sustainable Development, Green Buildings and Corporate Social Responsibility, have in some small way, contributed to the conversation on what the best Asia should look like in the future.
The region’s biggest and most prestigious real estate awards series, the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards are recognised as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence in the Asian property sector. Headquartered in Singapore, the PropertyGuru Group is Asia’s foremost online property company and has been voted ‘Asia’s Most lnfluential Brand for Online Property Search’by consumers. PropertyGuru helps over 16 million people find their dream home every month.
At the 2018 PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards in Colombo, a precursor to the Grand Finale in Bangkok, Altair took the major honours winning the Overall Award for ‘Best Condominium Development’and the awards for ‘Best Luxury Condo Development (Colombo)’and ‘Best Luxury Condo Architectural Design (Colombo)’while its only Sri Lankan Director Mr Pradeep Moraes was named ‘Real Estate Personality of the Year.’
Sri Lanka’s most distinctive and instantly recognised high-rise, Altair is a one-of-its-kind development in South Asia in terms of architectural design, structural engineering, and living experience. With structural construction completed and 70 per cent of its apartments sold, Altair is scheduled to commence the handing over of apartments to buyers in March 2019.
The building comprises of two tower blocks, a 63-storey sloping tower which leans in to a taller, 68- storey vertical tower. Acknowledged as a new paradigm in contemporary living in Sri Lanka, the Altair building has already brought a new dimension in aesthetics to Colombo’s skyline and offers its 400 apartments spectacular views of the Beira Lake, the Indian Ocean and the city of Colombo. The development’s 1.5 million square feet of high-end eco-friendly living space is supported by 40,000 square feet of up-market retail space.
August 2, 2018
Altair was awarded four prestigious awards at the recently concluded Asia Property awards (Sri Lanka) by Property Guru. The awards include ‘Best Luxury Condo Development (Colombo)’, ‘Best Luxury Condo Architectural Design’, ‘Best Condo Development (Sri Lanka)’. And Pradeep Moraes, Director, Indocean Developers of Altair was also awarded for the first time ever ‘Sri Lanka Real Estate Personality of the Year’.
July 10, 2018
The PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Sri Lanka) competition, which is being held for the very first time in Colombo on 12 July 2018, has chosen its first-ever Sri Lanka Real Estate Personality of the Year.
Pradeep Moraes, director at Indocean Developers – the company behind the twin tower Altair, designed by celebrated architect Moshe Safdie – has been selected to receive the prestigious honour by the editors of PropertyGuru Property Report magazine.
“We are recognising Pradeep Moraes’s contributions to raise standards in the local real estate sector as well as his work as chairman of the Condominium Developers Association of Sri Lanka,” the magazine said.
The career of Moraes spans more than four decades and covers a wide range of industries, including fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), aviation, advertising, automobiles, industrial marketing, communications and broadcasting, security, and property development.
After 10 years heading the sales and marketing division of John Keells Development, Moraes joined Indocean Developers (Pvt) Ltd as president of sales and marketing in 2013 and was appointed to the board as its sole Sri Lankan director two years later.
One of the biggest and most ambitious projects of his career is Altair, which has been conceptualised to be one of the tallest residential towers in Sri Lanka. The project is up for Best Luxury Condo Development (Colombo) and Best Luxury Condo Architectural Design at the 2018 PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Sri Lanka) competition.
Bringing Colombo to the forefront of global architectural excellence
“Euphoric is the best description of how I feel at being chosen as the first Sri Lankan to be bestowed with this award, more so in light of the exalted company of previous winners from the region,” Moraes said of his selection.
“I would like to dedicate this award to the promoters of Altair for giving me the opportunity and the exposure, and for bringing Colombo to the forefront of global architectural excellence with the iconic edifice that is Altair.”
Moraes believes that Sri Lankan real estate has witnessed “vibrant and sustainable growth,” propelled by consistent capital appreciation and rental yields, changing lifestyles of consumers, and confidence shown by foreign investors.
“I would go a step further and also dedicate my award to all the foreign developers, who, with their investments, declared and demonstrated their faith in Sri Lanka’s real estate industry,” he said.
Among elite company
The award puts Pradeep Moraes among the top leaders of the global real estate industry.
Previous winners of this elite award for the Asia Pacific region include former Philippine senate president Manny Villar of Vista Land Group, Thailand’s richest woman Supaluck Umpujh of The Mall Group, American-born Thai magnate William “Bill” E. Heinecke of Minor Hotels, British-Asian billionaire Gulu Lalvani, formerly of Royal Phuket Marina, Indonesian tycoon Candra Ciputra of PT Ciputra Development Tbk, Malaysian entrepreneur Dato’ Seri Abd Wahab Maskan of Sime Darby Property, Myanmar’s top businessman Serge Pun of SPA Group of Companies, Cambodian tycoon Rithy Sear of Worldbridge Cambodia, and Hong Kong’s Dr Allan Zeman, father of Lan Kwai Fong.
Using CSR to promote interracial and inter-religious amity
In addition to Moraes’s work at Altair, he has also pushed to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the country.
Among Altair’s ongoing CSR projects include supporting Gangarama Temple initiatives and providing daily meals for the last four years now to 150 religious inmates and staff of the Little Sisters of the Poor (a home for the aged run by Catholic nuns catering to inmates of any religion). Altair also spearheaded the erection of a Hindu shrine in the heart of Colombo, on land belonging to a Buddhist temple, for interracial and inter-religious amity.
The Sri Lanka Real Estate Personality of the Year award will be presented by PropertyGuru’s chief operating officer Jeremy Williams during an exclusive, black-tie gala dinner on 12 July 2018 at the Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo ballroom. Sri Lanka’s Megapolis and Western Development Minister Champika Ranawaka has been confirmed to deliver the keynote address.
More than a dozen companies have been shortlisted for the industry’s highest honours to celebrate excellence in the vibrant Sri Lankan real estate sector. Around 300 guests and select members of the press are attending the historic ceremony.
January 16, 2018
Altair, Colombo’s most distinctive luxury living marque, was the sponsor of the 146th Annual General Meeting and gala dinner of the Colombo Club, one of the oldest and most exclusive social clubs in Asia.
As part of its support to this elegant event, Altair sponsored two Business Class return tickets to Singapore and several other prizes presented to the winners of a raffle draw for members of the club. This was the second consecutive year that Altair was associated with this prestigious organisation as the sponsor of its AGM.
Taken from dailymirror.lk
March 8, 2017
The management of Altair recently hosted an event at the Hilton to felicitate Moshe Safdie, the Altair project’s architect and architect of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and many other iconic buildings.
Taken from FT.lkFebruary 16, 2017
Here are some captures from Moshe Safdie’s recent visit to Altair.
A modern-day architectural marvel is taking physical shape before Colombo’s eyes, as Altair’s iconic twin towers rises into the city sky at remarkable speed, a press release stated.
It added that promoter Indocean Developers reports that the building gained six floors in August 2016 — a benchmark given the intricacies of its structural design — and had reached its 32 level by the third week of September”.
“Designed by the celebrated global architectural genius Moshe Safdie, Altair will on completion in 2017 comprise of a 63-storey ‘leaning’ tower and a taller 68-storey vertical tower. It will have 400 luxury apartments that offer spectacular views of the Beira Lake, the Indian Ocean and the city of Colombo”, the release added.
“We are making excellent progress and are on schedule,” said SWA Project Manager and Altair’s Project Management Consultant, J. Domingo.
“Casting six floors in a month while ensuring International Specification Requirements pertaining to quality and safety is a new benchmark in the Sri Lankan construction industry”, he added.
“Altair’s local structural engineer Deepal Wickramasinghe commended the project’s contractor Shapoorji Pallonji Lanka Limited for the feat of building six floors in a month, despite the inherent structural complexities and composite nature of the construction that requires involvement of multiple trades” it added.
“Achieving completion of six floors a month in a masterpiece of its kind, while overcoming the logistic challenges and managing the cultural change involving various stakeholders is indeed a hard task,” Shapoorji Pallonji Lanka Limited, Project Director Baiju Ramakrishnan added. “Our commitment, dedication, hard work and international expertise in high rise construction are the factors that have made this possible”.
“Designed to be a game changer in contemporary living in Sri Lanka, Altair will bring a new dimension in aesthetics to Colombo’s skyline. It is intended to be a one-of-its-kind development in South Asia in terms of architectural design, structural engineering, and living experience. The development’s 1.5 million square feet of high-end eco-friendly living space will be supported by 40,000 square feet of supportive up-market retail space”, the release added.
“Breaking new ground in the local property development market, Altair has installed a 24-hour live stream from its construction site, enabling anyone to monitor progress. The live feed can be accessed via the Altair website www.altair.lk from anywhere in the world. It provides a real-time view of construction work from five different angles, with the views switching every 12 seconds’ it further added.
Extracted from Ceylon Today