Construction update: Will Jewel be finished on time?

Jewel, one of the Gold Coast’s most iconic projects may have hit a snag today which could delay the completion of the building. Developers Yuhu Group have today confirmed they will be opening up “new tendering opportunities” for the project, as Australian building company Multiplex is at least partially removed from the project.

A spokesman from Yuhu told the Gold Coast Bulletin that the project will be put on hold as new building tenders will be opened for completion. They have confirmed that Multiplex will remain the main construction partner for the majority of the development but are looking for a new partner for the hotel portion of the development. While there isn’t likely to be delays in the residential towers, this new tendering process is likely to delay the completion of the hotel, and the corresponding facilities that are a part of the second tower.

“Yuhu Group is committed to ensuring the Jewel hotel meets and exceeds the highest of international standards. Consequently, the final design and configuration elements of the lower podium levels of the hotel are yet to be finalised,” they said.

“As a result, this work will be carried out later in the construction schedule and will be subject to new tendering opportunities.”

The exterior structure of the towers is well underway, with the towers topping out at maximum height as recently as late August 2018. The spokesman from Yuhu has said other areas of the development will continue with Multiplex as planned, except the lower podium levels.

With millions of dollars of product ordered (and paid for) by Multiplex now in Australia, the workers are understandably left wondering “what’s next?”.

A decision on the employment of all 900 local workers on the Jewel project could be made as early as next week. Builder’s union CFMEU were present onsite this morning for a meeting with workers which went for over an hour. Although some walked off the site after the union meeting this morning, it’s expected most workers will remain on-site. Yuhu Group has confirmed in a statement that they expected no major job losses, although this has not yet quelled fears for the workers.

“Jewel is about creating jobs and economic opportunity, not costing jobs. Regardless of schedule, at the end of the day the work will still need to be done,” the spokesman said.

Multiplex was originally announced as the sole holders of the building contract for the three jewel towers back in February of 2016, and construction began later that month. At the time, the development of Jewel was in the hands of Wanda Ridong Group. The Chinese developers sold all Australian property assets at the start of 2018. All development teams were then absorbed into Yuhu Group.

Even after the transition, it wasn’t smooth sailing for Yuhu Group, and sales had to be suspended while Sydney-based Yuhu applied for a corporate real estate licence in Queensland.

Since then, the waters have appeared to be much smoother, with sales resuming and going strong and construction topping out. Shortly after the buildings topped out, the prices for the development also changed, with two-bedroom apartments being reduced by just over $100,000, renewing interest in the project.

The scheduled completion date for the project is March 2019, with no announcement whether or not this would change as a result of the contract turbulence with Multiplex.

PropertyMash has reached out to Yuhu Group for comment.

Written: 26 September 2018

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