12 November 2019
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6-star marketing

Angela Catterns
26 May 2016

By Angela Catterns

“Lead me into temptation …”, says Charlize Theron in a deep sexy voice. The South African- born, US-based movie star is not spruiking a new movie, she’s the 3 million dollar face of Capitol Grand, a new high-rise apartment and retail development in Melbourne.

Charlize is floating through an artist’s rendition of the inside of the penthouse, on the promo video on their website.

She’s wearing an amazing see-through sparkly couture gown with thigh-high split. God knows when she’ll get the opportunity to wear that frock again in Melbourne, where everyone’s wearing footy scarves, boots and vintage skirts.

In the course of 4 minutes, she has a couple of costume changes and indulges in a spot of sexy, come-hither posturing while lying down on a bed.

The video cuts to an artist’s impression of the opulent details of the apartment interior, then shows us what’s allegedly going on outside. Expensive cars drive by, hip young people shop for high-end fashion, shoes, watches and jewellery.

And we see a few shots of ‘authentic’ Melbourne … a couple of rowers, a few ducks, cyclists, joggers and some nice old Victorian street lamps.

Back in the apartment, Charlize is now reclining on a bed of food; a sumptuous feast of fruit and vegies, laid out medieval banquet style. There are cutaways of luscious cakes, chilled champagne and fine wines. As if a plate of cakes is going to convince you to spend a million dollars on a flat.

The building itself is massive. It’ll be 50 storeys high, comprising 390 apartments, to be built on the corner of Chapel St & Toorak Rd, South Yarra. Which once was the home of The Capitol bakery and in recent decades, the Fun Factory, where old style youngsters went roller-skating, ate ice creams and played pinball.

Prices are hefty.The penthouses and apartments above the 43rd floor are expected to fetch up to and perhaps in excess of $25 million.

Eddie McGuire visited the display centre but has not confirmed if he’s a buyer or not.

According to the developer Larry Kestelman, Group Executive Director of the LK Property Group (and founder of Dodo), it’s the only six-star residential tower in the entire city. He calls it “the most luxurious building in Australia“.

It’s an irony that up until now, hotels have strived to create that ‘home away from home’ feeling. And now, here are luxury apartments that aspire to looking and feeling like a 6 star hotel.

I hope Larry’s not feeling nervous. This week, the Macquarie Bank released a list of suburbs it says are becoming risky for apartment loans - and South Yarra is on the list. Macquarie Bank is putting special conditions on loans in 120 postcodes, because of over-supply and the possibility of a glut.

Recent sales data shows apartments in central Melbourne are being resold at discounts of up to 30% from their original off the plan purchase price. And an industry report predicts Victoria will be the most oversupplied market in the country by next year. Led by high-density apartment development in the inner and middle ring.

So to rise above the ordinary, the marketing campaign for this development is extraordinary.

Apart from the promise of Charlize Theron stopping by sometime, you can earn a huge parcel of Qantas Frequent Flyer points if you buy off the plan.

A 3-bedroom apartment will earn you 2 million Qantas Frequent Flyer points. Enough to get you to and from London or New York 5 times, flying first-class (are you sure you’ll even need the apartment if you’re going to be away from home that often?)

I drove by the site two days ago. Massive billboards feature a huge picture of Charlize and that eye-catching offer “Buy an Apartment, Earn 2 Million Qantas Frequent Flyer Points”.

There was another unmissable sign, which almost caused me to drive off the road. It said  “Demolition has now been Completed”. Let’s hope it’s not a sign of things to come!

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