Founded a few years ago, Beulah International was created by visionaries Adelene Teh and partner Jiaheng Chan. Starting out as a partner of the iconic Australia 108 project in Southbank, they looked to help guide Melbourne, the most livable city in the world, into the future. Receiving immense interest, Beulah International along with their partners and shareholders made a decision to offload the project. Australia 108 was sold at the end of 2013 to the Singaporean Aspial Corporation, “We were always looking for something new, something different, but we were not sure if it would be accepted. These are products that don’t exist in these areas, but we are looking to commit to them and we look forward to a bright future.” States Adelene, a promising young Director.
Adelene gives us unique insight on their next and current project, the Gardenhill Apartments in Doncaster. A joint venture project, Beulah has teamed with Malaysia’s Fajarbaru BuilderGroup, a prominent builder who has recently got into development. Gardenhill is still in the sales stage, but with 70% sold within 3 months, it won’t be for long. “It’s the fastest selling project in Doncaster.” States Adelene. The chic, luxury apartment building will begin its construction stage mid this year.
Beulah, a relativity young company, is defined by Adelene as; “A company with a vision to create buildings that promote livability, has a good design, a good lifestyle and offers top amenities and value to its residents. We are that type of developer.” With Gardenhill, Beulah has engaged Woods Bagot, one of the largest architectural firms in Australia, amongst others. Beulah has a regional office in Malaysia with its HQ in Melbourne.
“Generally, what we’ve provided is different from all the other projects in the area.” Adelene excitedly states in regards to Gardenhill. “We got a parcel of land, but we never fully “built out” the whole land with concrete even when we could, we used a curved L-shape to form a courtyard garden, which is quite rare. We wanted to provide something for users to walk their dog, exercise or BBQ.” In addition to its ground floor garden, there’s a rooftop garden with a spectacular view for that consistent lifestyle. The award winning Jack Merlo Design garden, brings seating pods, a fireplace and trees for privacy. “It’s different from the rest and beneficial not only for ourselves and the surroundings, but also for the community.” Says Adelene.
Staying on the topic of being green, Beulah hasn’t forgotten about sustainability. Beulah has invested into an Australian company who’s at the forefront of modular building technology. Building parts are pre-fabricated in a factory and are craned together onsite. Adelene states; “This process not only minimizes waste, but saves a lot of time and construction costs.”
With Gardenhill, Beulah will also be utilizing recycled water with a ring of tanks that will collect rain water. This water will be used to water the landscape. “We are also allowing a service in conjunction with Yarra Valley Water. In the future, we hope to see a service that connects a rainwater tank which will treat the water on site, to be used within the building, such as for flushing of toilets.” Explains Adelene. In regards to solar energy, the building will also host a solar hot water system on the rooftop. On the west side, there will be a movable screen to block out the western sun in the evening, which will screen off heat and save on electricity through reduced air conditioning use. The screen is able to be manually adjusted from resident’s balconies, allowing them to open and close the screen as they please.
With projects of this size, Adelene explains that the biggest challenge would be obtaining an approval and/or permit. “With Australia 108, after seeing the Eureka Tower, we wanted something iconic in Melbourne as well, a super tower allowing Melbourne to achieve a world class status.” At first, the skyscraper received an approval for 108 stories, but then governing bodies realized it infringed the safety of the PANS-OPS Flight Path. “Getting a permit was a challenge, there were a lot of objections because not everyone understood the vision we had for Melbourne, to bring it to a different level.” States Adelene. It is great to see that Aspial Group has taken the vision further and went to another level.
Speaking on relationships with governing bodies, Adelene says; “We are able to get an insight of what’s happening in the industry and perhaps have a voice in policy making.” In regards to relationships with key suppliers, she explains the importance of having a great relationship. “It means we get a response quicker, because they are willing to go the extra mile. As we build these key relationships, suppliers can take ownership in the project and give genuine feedback and the answers we need. The important thing is to partner and bring projects from conception to completion to achieve our vision and goals.”
Adelene states a major upcoming issue the industry faces is the policy that may set a minimize size for apartments. “It will be interesting to see how the market will adjust as this might cause the prices to increase dramatically. It’s a good thing for the people, to have larger apartments, but it’s something that developers might need to prepare for. Assuming we make the same margin and construction cost remain the same or increase, it will create a major affordability issue, so something will have to give in. This might be something such as having construction costs reduce or having the banks provide easier funding. It will be good for quality and living but it’s an affordability concern for all.”
Adelene comes from a background in architecture, receiving a degree in the field fromUniversity of Melbourne. Heand she comes from a family of property developers. Her father was CEO of IJM, one of the largest building and construction companies in Malaysia. “Since I was young, my dad would always bring me to construction sites and explain all the details of how spaces work and how building and design works. He also showed me how, if done right, buildings affect the urban fabric of the city. I’ve always been interested in design and property. Personally I like how buildings can change and contribute positively to the surroundings and community.” Deciding to do their own thing, Beulah International was born, a development company with a strong emphasis on architecture, livability and design. “We’re very happy with the result and very excited to come up with new projects for not just Melbourne, but also globally, that’s the vision of the company.”
The Gardenhill Apartments will bring residents luxurious amenities, state of the art design and open gardens.. ABNS is sure that the completion of the project will help Adelene and up-and-coming Beulah International achieve this vision.