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Weekly Transaction Update - 19th April


This week we recorded 18 major transactions worth $313m

GPT Trade Rouse Hill Land ahead of Expansion

GPT is embarking on a massive $300 million expansion of Rouse Hill Town Centre to exploit the anticipated boom from the Sydney Metro north west rail link due to open later this month.

The expansion will take over the land to the north of the existing centre and this week, GPT transferred 5.6ha of land between Rouse Hill Rd and Commercial Rd for $37.375M.

A master plan for this northern site is yet to be finalised but will incorporate a mix of residential, retail and community uses surrounding a new village green. A copy of the design statement is here

GPT submitted Development Applications for the expansion in December last year which will add a further 16,000sqm of retail space for 2 mini majors, 50 specialty stores and a leisure and entertainment space, along with a 4,500sqm commercial building and two residential towers containing 143 apartments. GPT expect the expansion works to commence in 2020 and be completed in 2022.

In 2015/16, GPT sold a 4,336sqm part of the site to Chinese company AUX Group for $23 million. GPT had earlier obtained approval for 152 units on those sites which abutted the existing Town Centre. A second sites of 8,013sqm on the corner of Commercial Rd and Caddies Ave was also earmarked for sale with approvals for 205 apartments.

Justin Hemmes prepares for Ivy Expansion

Justin Hemmes has settled on the site next to the Ivy in George Street Sydney which was reported late last year.

The site, previously owned by St George was marketed by McVay Real Estate with plans approved for 16 storey, 195 room hotel.

Hemmes paid $77M for the 582sqm site ($132,000 psm) which will now be amalgamated with his existing Ivy buildings to form a 3,500sqm development site.

Hemmes said he was leaning towards a new concept for a 55-storey hotel, which would replace the existing structure which was always intended to be a medium term usage. Hemmes is also looking for a development partner to be involved in the project.

Hemmes originally purchased the George Street site in Sydney for $22 million in 2004, and the Ivy launched in 2007.

HyeCorp Sells out of Macquarie Park Resi

Sydney developer Hyecorp has decided to end its pursuit of a Macquarie Park residential development after a long fought battle with a strata community with a sale of the project to Sundale for $40m.

Hyecorp, founded by well-known Armenian-Australian family the Abolakians in the 1990s had acquired 3 units in the two older-style sister blocks in late 2014 and 2015 just before new strata laws were introduced by the NSW government in late 2016 allowing 75 per cent of a strata to force the collective sale of property.

The majority of the owners in the 2 buildings approved a CBRE-led sales campaign which Hyecorp participated in but failed to win. British based student accommodation giant GSA, which had offered about $50 million for the majority of the units but Hyecorp dug its heels in to oppose the sale to the winning bidder.

The two strata corps spent close to $1 million in legal fees preparing the case for court as the new laws, under the Strata Schemes Development Act, were to provide safeguards against disagreeing parties.

GSA ultimately let go of the options to purchase the units on the expiry date of November 14, as it was unable to procure the entire two blocks. It is understood Hyecorp wanted about $4 million for each unit, over three times the amount offered for the other units.

The remaining owners also abandoned a lawsuit with Hyecorp as legal costs started to take a toll on the owners, some of them pensioners.

Hyecorp ultimately prepared a development scheme for the site and marketed apartments, however as the market deteriorated and sales were slowing, they cut a deal with Sundale to acquire the blocks for $40m.

Review our other transaction data at ReSourceData.

* indicates unconfirmed price or apportionment of a portfolio sale

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