Market Wrap-Up: The Week in Property


With our editorial team downing their pens and tape recorders for the year, The Urban Developer will endeavour to keep you up to date with the news shaping the property industry and keep you informed over the holiday period.

Here is our wrap-up the biggest deals, projects and property market updates over the past week.

Dexus New Brisbane development project secures approval

Dexus’ $2.1bn Brisbane Waterfront Green Lit

The country’s biggest office landlord has secured approval for its $2.1 billion transformation of Brisbane’s Eagle Street Pier and Waterfront Place precinct.

ASX-listed Dexus, which lodged plans in June, will now aim to commence work at the riverfront site, located at 45 Eagle Street, with construction expected to kick off in early-2022.

The development will feature two towers, a 75,300sq m north tower reaching 49-storeys and the 43-storey south tower comprising 60,000sq m of office space, both of which will sit above 4-levels of underground car parking.

Around 9,000sq m of riverside public open space is part of the plan, as well as expansive, shaded terraces with lush landscaping.

This will include a 280-metre river walk and a six-metre-wide promenade and river link providing cycle and wheelchair connectivity between Eagle Street and the river.

Dexus chief investment officer Ross Du Vernet said the developer had been granted an opportunity to unlock a gateway CBD site which has remained under-developed for almost 30 years.

The north tower is expected to be completed in 2026 with Dexus anticipating the development to drum up 1,000 construction jobs as well as 900 ongoing support roles.

Zapari Group, led by Nick Skepev,

Zapari Scales Back Apartment Tower

Canberra developer Zapari has resubmitted plans for its $86 million mixed-used development in Woden Valley, Canberra.

Zapari Group, led by Nick Skepev, acquired the amalgamated three block site on the corner of Brewer Street and Corinna Street, in February in an off-market in a sale brokered by Intellectual Property and Civium.

The site, currently occupied by ageing three-storey buildings, sits within the ACT government’s 1.1 hectare release in the town centre as part of its urban renewal phase in Woden.

The developer initially had plans for upwards of 600 apartments in line with state government’s planning directorate, but has instead opted for 280 after consultation with the National Capital Design Review Panel and the Woden Valley Community Council.

The 16-storey Cox Architecture-designed apartment tower will also feature double-height ground-floor retail spaces and a rooftop garden as well as three levels each of basement and podium parking for 464 cars.

Many Canberra developers have built, or proposed, high rises in the Woden Town Centre in recent years, which would bring thousands of new residents.

Geocon has approval for a 800 apartment tower, set across 24-storeys, on the site of the former Woden Tradies Club.

Meanwhile, Amalgamated Property Group has already completed two high-rises, Trilogy and Ivy Apartments, and has proposed more on the former site of the Yamba Sports Club.

Investa George Street

Investa Sells George Street Stake for $300m

Office landlord Investa has sold a $300 million stake in its 400 George Street office tower to its co-owner M&G Real Estate.

The building was M&G’s first co-investment with ICPF when they jointly acquired the asset in 2006.

M&G has another co-investment with ICPF in a North Sydney commercial building, bought in 2018.

The George Street property was sold on an initial yield of 4.6 per cent, the deal, effectively valuing the tower at $1.2 billion.

ICPF fund manager Brendan Looby said the sale aligned with ICPF’s strategy to recycle capital into its development pipeline in order to enhance its exposure to new-generation assets.

“The sale of 400 George Street is part of its asset recycling programme to release up to A$900m currently locked in its ICPF portfolio.

“It is freeing the capital to fund its pipeline of projects, including sites in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne,” Looby said.

Investa’s unlisted fund, Investa Commercial Property Fund, is exiting its 25 per cent stake, while its co-owner M&G will boost its investment from 25 per cent to 50 per cent.

The other half of the building is co-owned by China Investment Corporation, through its fund manager Mirvac.


Stockland Acquires 700ha Masterplan for $193m

The country’s largest developer has purchased a masterplanned community development of one of south-east Queenland’s largest residential estates in a $193 million deal, investing heavily in its expectation of strong housing demand in the Ipswich region.

The 700-hectare Providence estate, located in the Ripley Valley—43 kilometres south-west of Brisbane, has seen 1,500 lots developed already with the masterplan proposing a further 6,000,

The proposal for Providence envisages the creation of homes for more than 20,000 people over the next 20 years including an education precinct, sporting grounds, a town centre and extensive transport connections.

Stockland Queensland residential general manager David Laner said The Ripley Valley has accounted for more than 40 per cent of land sales within the greater Brisbane west area in recent years.

Stockland said it will immediately commence development, marketing and sales on site with the total development holding the capacity for $2 billion in lot sales over the next two decades.

“We expect the record-low interest rates to continue to underpin the residential market over the medium term,” Stockland chief executive of communities Andrew Whitson said.

“This acquisition aligns with our strategy to restock our development pipeline with well located, market-ready projects in areas with strong demand fundamentals and expected total returns above our hurdle rates.”

Stockland currently sits as Queensland’s largest community developer with three other residential projects currently underway in the western corridor.


ACT Selects Development Partner for $250m Precinct

Adelaide-based developer Commercial and General has been selected to oversee a $250 million mixed-use development in North Adelaide.

The development, to be called “Eighty-Eight O’Connell”, would include retail and commercial space, as well as residential apartments and 400 off-street car parks across three basement levels.

The 88 O’Connell Street site, which has remained vacant for over 20 years, was bought by the council for $34 million in December 2017 with the assistance of a $10 million state government grant.

At its highest point of the three tower development, which is yet to be approved, would reach 15-storeys, which is non-compliant with the development limit for North Adelaide of eight-storeys.

The development application process is set to begin in the first half of next year before Commercial & General opens a sales and marketing office on the site.

If approved, Commercial & General plans to commence construction in 2022, with an expected end date in 2025.

275 George Street, Sydney

Japanese Developer Completes George Street Office Tower

Japanese real estate firm Daibiru Corporation has completed work on its A-Grade office tower in Sydney’s CBD.

Daibiru picked up the 630sq m site, located at 275 George Street, for $240 million in 2018 from John Holland before appointing TH Real Estate as investment and development manager on the project.

The 7,300sq mArchitectus-designed building, has 14 office floors above three levels of retail and basement end-of-trip facilities.

It offers 500sq m column-free floor plans, a sky terrace, mezzanine floor and has been awarded a 5 Star Green Star Design and As Built Rating and is targeting a 5 Star NABERS Energy Rating.

Tokyo-listed Daibiru has a 24-strong network of buildings in Japan that span offices, hotel buildings, and retail complexes in Tokyo and Osaka.

The Osaka-based developer, which first expanded overseas in 2012, buying an office building in Ho Chi Minh City, and has since acquired there, is now eyeing more commercial opportunities in Australia over the US and UK.

Mirvac Waverley Bowling Club

Mirvac Picks up Senior Living Project in Waverley

Mirvac Group has entered into an agreement with the Easts Group to redevelop the Waverley Bowling Club in Sydney.

The one hectare site has development approval for a new, modern bowling club facility, a cafe and landscaping upgrades, as well as 55 senior living apartments.

The site currently features three bowling greens and a two-storey clubhouse, and has been home to Waverley Bowling Club since 1967.

Approval for the project was granted in September and will now see a new bowling club with two championship bowling greens and a small clubhouse incorporated into the development.

Mirvac head of residential Stuart Penklis said the project marked the developer’s return to Sydney’s eastern suburbs, following the successful completion of The Moreton in Bondi in 2017.

Up until now the Altis-designed project has been managed by Hamptons Property Services, with JLL handling the development’s marketing.

Mirvac said construction is expected to begin by mid-2021 with The Easts Group set to retain ownership of the bowling club, greens and underground parking for its members.


Maxcap, Troon Group Sell Dealership

Real estate finance and investment house MaxCap and Melbourne developer Troon Group have sold a new BMW showroom in Melbourne’s south-east to ASX-listed fund manager Eildon Capital for $17 million.

The sale of the 6,376sq m site in Narre Warren, which was purchased for $6.2 million last year, was handled by JLL’s Stuart Taylor.

The two companies formed an equity partnership in July embarking on two suburban Melbourne project while sounding out three other potential ventures.

Troon Group is an offshoot of the 150-year-old Ballarat-based builder H. Troon, which has delivered projects for the likes of Bunnings, Kmart and Woolworths while non-bank lender MaxCap holds a focus on commercial property.

MaxCap was founded in 2007 and has $3.4 billion in funds under management.

The group lends to property developers and property owners and has written more than 370 loans worth more than $10 billion since opening its doors.

Last month MaxCap Group providing the construction facility for a $250 million residential development set to be built in the city’s inner-eastern suburb of Hawthorn.

In August, MaxCap partnered with an undisclosed Hong Kong-based institution to provide $170 million in construction financing on a 396-unit mixed-use project in Melbourne’s eastern suburb of Box Hill.

MaxCap followed up that deal with the provision of construction funding to Milbex Group for a $120 million 20-storey mixed-use residential building in South Melbourne.


Plans Unveiled for 1,500 Pop-up Vaccine Pavilions

Approximately 1,500 vaccine immunisation pavilions are set to be installed around Italy from January.

The stations, designed by architect Stefano Boeri, will be set up in Italy’s squares and town centres and act as distribution sites for the 3.4 million Pfizer vaccine doses, which the country is expected to receive in January.

Designed in collaboration with a team of consultants, the pavilion is organised around a central core, housing service areas for healthcare workers including toilets as well as changing and storage rooms.

To mitigate the environmental impact of setting up a slew of temporary pavilions, Boeri designed them to be easily dismantled and reused elsewhere.

They will feature a wooden interior and a textile shell, bearing a symbol of a primrose on the exterior which will also act as the logo for the country’s communications campaign around vaccination.

Last weekend, Italy surpassed the UK to become the country with the highest coronavirus death toll in Europe.


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