Poly Global to Scale Back Australian Operations


Property developer Poly Global is reassessing its development footprint and operations in Australia with plans to furlough staff by the end of the year.

The Shanghai-listed developer’s Australian arm, Poly Australia, is now set to take a more passive approach to large-scale development.

“The economic challenges confronting both Australia and the world have forced all businesses to review their strategies and activities,” a Poly Australia spokesperson told The Urban Developer.

“These challenges place a responsibility on the management of companies such as Poly Global to ensure we survive the downturn and are well-positioned in future.

“This involves scrutinising all aspects of our business operations to ensure we retain our strong financial position locally.”

The company’s Australian arm is one of Poly Global’s largest international branches, and has grown to have projects in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

Poly Australia currently has upwards of 20 commercial and residential projects on the go.

A model of Poly's Spring Square in Bankstown being showcased at a launch in November.
▲ A model of Poly's Spring Square in Bankstown being showcased at a 2019 launch.

However, in a sign of difficult current market conditions, Poly walked away from a $300 deal with global developer Lendlease, to buy a 200-hectare residential development in Sydney’s south-west after lengthy and advanced negotiations.

Poly said it remained firmly committed to the Australian market after demonstrating its commitment to job-creation across a wide-range of markets in recent years.

“We believe in adding value to the assets we develop and own in Australia,” a Poly Australia spokesperson said.

“While some companies simply hold assets, we invest to improve the lives of our owners, employees and the broader community.”

During recent years, Poly has built a pipeline of residential and office projects across the east coast, partnering with local investors to create managed investment trusts, in order to navigate Foreign Investment Review Board approvals.

Poly’s larger residential projects include a $344 million mixed-use development in Epping with 500 apartments and a 500-apartment development of the Wentworthville mall site in Sydney’s west.

In April, Poly commenced construction on its flagship commercial development, the $500 million Poly Centre, a 107-metre tall Grimshaw-designed tower at Circular Quay in Sydney.

▲ Poly, which launched in Australia in 2014, has built up a pipeline of more than $2 billion under the guidance of managing director Arthur Wang.
▲ Poly, which launched in Australia in 2014, has built up a pipeline of more than $2 billion under the guidance of managing director Arthur Wang.

The developer has since put feelers out for investors to help carry the project, offering a half-stake in the the A-grade 27-storey commercial tower at 210 George Street and at 1000 La Trobe Street in Melbourne, where it is building a 23-storey commercial tower which will span about 31,500 square metres.

It pitched bringing in partners as part of a strategic play to help expand its global asset management ­business, which has a focus on value-add opportunities and ­developments.

The developer has also recently purchased a 26-storey office tower at 59 Goulburn Street for $270 million, as well as making its foray into Queensland, buying a 6.2-hectare site in Ascot for $35.25 million, before rolling out plans for a 234-dwelling development.

Poly had previously said it was in the market for more Queensland projects and development opportunities as well as targeting a development pipeline of up to 3,000 apartments in NSW, as well as commercial buildings and retirement villages.

Meanwhile, Poly has moved ahead on its masterplanned development, known as Spring Square, in Bankstown, with Westbourne Constructions appointed and set to commence construction next month.

Located on the site of the old Bankstown RSL at the north western core of Bankstown’s CBD, the residential project will feature 516 apartments across five towers, with significant retail and a commercial components also proposed.

Poly picked up the 46,400sq m site at 32 Kitchener Parade site in 2017 for $53.6 million and quickly set about plans to deliver a residential scheme.

The developer secured approval from the Sydney South Planning Panel in April 2019, completion is billed for late 2022.

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