With its unique concept of sky bungalows and environmentally friendly waste disposal systems, the company is taking modern living to new heights.
In conversation with Echelon, Managing Director of Capitol TwinPeaks Rohana Wannigama reveals the unique features of this one-of-a-kind property that includes Sri Lanka’s highest sky bridge, a sky lounge and four-shooter waste management system. Excerpts from the interview are as follows:
What makes Capitol TwinPeaks a one-of-a-kind luxury real estate project?
Apartment projects are rapidly changing Colombo’s skyline, and on this particular strip, there are many other developments including Altair, the new Shangri-La project and the Colombo City Center. They will stand tall shoulder to shoulder and be an elite waterfront location with a view of the sea and the Port City, as well as the Lotus Tower.
Location is one of our unique selling points. Capitol TwinPeaks is a 50-storey twin tower located in the heart of Colombo. Compared with other large developments, our external façade is over 75% glass, enabling the concept of true sky living. Another unique feature about this property is the highest level sky bridge, which connects the towers, and a restaurant facility and sky lounge on the 50th level.
In addition, keeping the complex and its surroundings environmentally friendly, we have a sophisticated, four-shooter garbage collection system, which segregates wet garbage, glass, plastic and paper/biodegradable items for easy collection and disposal. This is a critical issue faced by apartment complexes, so we have addressed it in the first stages of development. Bordering the complex is also a 4-acre green plot that houses “Visumpaya”, a heritage property maintained by the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, only visible from Capitol TwinPeaks, adding to our unparalleled views.
LOCATION IS ONE OF OUR UNIQUE SELLING POINTS. CAPITOL TWINPEAKS IS A 50-STOREY TWIN TOWERS LOCATED IN THE HEART OF COLOMBO
The complex also features two basements and seven levels for parking. The ground floor will host common facilities and some commercial facilities, including a café, mini mart, salon and spa, and a laundry collection point. The 8th floor is dedicated mainly to recreational activities, with an infinity swimming pool, gym, kids’ playroom and a games room for older kids, as well as a business centre.
At present, the complex has a combination of two- and three-bedroom apartments. However, we have kept that provision open for buyers to combine apartments laterally and vertically by converting them into duplexes if necessary, with the option to create up to a five-bedroom apartment. The two-bedroom apartments are 774-1,063 sq.ft, the three-bedrooms 1,045-1,363 sq.ft, four bedrooms 1,600sq.ft onwards and five-bedrooms 2,000 sq.ft onwards. We also have the possibility of amalgamating two apartments horizontally or vertically and going up to 5,500 sq.ft.
We have also pioneered the concept of sky bungalows. These are two apartments combined one on top of the other, with an inward staircase that connects the two, giving a feeling of living in the sky. Capitol TwinPeaks is a unique project in that we don’t have the standard, cookie-cutter apartments. We have 38 varieties of apartments, which can be further customized during a limited time window up to 31 January 2019.
We are able to allow this kind of customization due to the expertise of our parent company Sanken. Sanken Group is a one-stop shop with almost all construction-related capabilities in-house including design, piling, construction, machinery, MEP, ready-mix concrete and timber work. We have over 20 subsidiaries that run the set-up, so we don’t have to go anywhere else.
Due to this reason, we are also far ahead of schedule. By November, we were supposed to be on the 9th floor, but by December, we are now on the 37th floor. This also allows us to pass on this saving to our buyers by locking the US dollar rate at Rs167.50 during the month of December, even if the dollar continues to fluctuate. We have only 13 more floors to go, and we are confident that we will remain ahead of schedule.
Is there a so-called real estate bubble in the country; and if so, how does Capitol TwinPeaks hope to meet this challenge?
Actually, research by RIU shows that there will be only 18,000 apartments by 2020, which is not an oversupply, and another 3,000 added over the next two years. We feel this bubble story is not accurate based on research. In time to come, a lot of house owners will give up big bungalows and move into smaller apartments for a modern living. This transition is already happening. We have sold 50% of our apartments, primarily to locals and some foreign buyers.
With the Port City coming up, the first step is to get the financial district up and running, and the people who come to transact here will need places to stay in the vicinity. Also, there will be a huge influx of people into the country who will not have living facilities in the Port City for the first eight years, until its completion. So apartments like ours can offer a relatively cheaper way of staying over in Sri Lanka, rather than moving into hotels. This is another opportunity we see in the near future.
What is the pricing range of the apartments?
We have two-bedroom apartments starting from $273,000. We have found that this is an average pricing level compared to other complexes in the area. It was a part of our strategy not to make high-priced expensive apartments, and due to this Capitol TwinPeaks apartments are easy to buy and easy to sell.
What more can we expect in the future, any more projects in the pipeline?
Sanken is behind many of the skyscrapers in Sri Lanka. We believe this is our speciality, so we will never stop doing that. We are already in 12 countries across 3 continents building major projects for international markets.