Hines Buys Chinese Developer’s Australian Project

Hines Buys Chinese Developer’s Australian Project
21/12/2020 , by , in INTERNATIONAL

US group Hines has acquired a development site in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD for $200m with plans for a A$1 bn plus office scheme. The site was previous held by Chinese-backed developer Landream who had planned to develop a 54-storey luxury apartment and hotel tower.

The Zaha Hadid design, which resembled a series of stacked vases, obtained planning approval in 2016 and which remains valid until 2023. The 185-metre tower looked set to proceed following a commitment in 2017 from the Hong Kong-based Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

With limited apartment pre-sales, funding limitations forced Landream to consider selling the site. Having spent $60m to acquire the site in 2015, Landream’s exit is clearly a good decision.

Hines will now seek permission to amend the design for a 60,000sq m premium grade office tower. The site sits in the CBD’s burgeoning western core, which Hines says is becoming the city’s premier corporate hub.

Hines managing director David Warneford said the acquisition reflects the firm’s global confidence in the long-term future of the office sector post-COVID. “We have witnessed an unprecedented experiment in work-from-home as a result of the pandemic, which has sparked change in the way people will work in the future, he said. Businesses will demand office space that responds to their unique needs such as flexible ways of working; a strong focus on health and wellness; an atmosphere conducive to collaboration and continuity of corporate culture and seamless technology integration.”

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