Planning Minister Approves $800 Million-Plus Redevelopment of Ex-Age Site, Melbourne

IT USED to be considered the dankest end of the Melbourne CBD – but now two former industrial sites opposite the Southern Cross train station are to make way for some ten swank skyscrapers accommodating some 5500 apartments.

Yesterday Victorian planning minister Matthew Guy approved an $800 million redevelopment of the former Age newspaper site at 250 Spencer Street.

The proposal – seen in ISPT’s 2012 annual report – seeks to add six skyscrapers and 2994 flats to the block which for years houses The Age newspaper.

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Historic Burrawang West Expected to Sell For $8.5 Million

NINETEENTH century station Burrawang West in western New South Wales is for sale and expected to sell for about $8.5 million.

The historic property spread over 5000 hectares on the Lachlan River, about 450 kilometres west of Sydney, was once a wool production operation, in 1884 establishing a then-record for processing 5000 bales.

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Challenger Sells 417 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, For $80 Million

INVESTMENT manager Challenger has offloaded a major St Kilda Road tower in an $80 million deal.

The 10-level, 20,000 square metre A-grade office at #417 (pictured, right) has been purchased by syndicate Newmark Property Group, headed by ex Lend Lease and Mirvac executive Chris Langford and Simon Morris, previously director of the Peninsula Development Group.

The sale price represents a high yield of about 9 per cent. For years known as the Mobil building, 417 St Kilda Road includes Oracle and the Red Cross as major tenants.

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State Government Approves Laws Allowing Perth Sunday Trading

AFTER some 25 years, the Western Australian state liberal government has approved laws allowing Sunday trading in Perth.

In a move expected to result in a wave of major new retail developments and refurbishments, Premier Colin Barnett, and the opposition, supported the legislation which replaces ad hoc rules that allowed only certain retailers to open.

Sunday trading was the subject of a failed referendum in 2005.

Melbourne-based Myer has been one of the first retailers to praise the move, adding the group would now “move more quickly to refurbish and expand operations in Perth”. The company has refurbished just one of its six Perth stores since 2006 but undertaking numerous major renovations of its east coast outlets since that time.

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Costco to Enter Lucrative Australian Petrol Market

US retail giant Costco – reportedly the world’s eighth largest retailer – is looking to enter the lucrative Australian petrol market.

Following in the footsteps of local rivals Woolworths, and the Wesfarmers backed Coles, Costco has applied to build service stations at as-yet-undeveloped stores in Sydney and Brisbane.

The retailer reportedly sold 8.7 billion litres of fuel at its 500+ US stores in 2010.

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Tasmania’s Pub in the Paddock For Sale, With Drinking Pigs

TASMANIAN tourist attraction the Pub in the Paddock is for sale asking $800,000.

The pub, run by Anne Free and renowned for its beer drinking pigs, is in the state’s north-east.

Built as the St Columba Falls Road hotel in 1880, and licensed since 1901, the pub also includes six guest rooms which derive rental income of $75 per night. On three hectares with South George River frontage the property also includes a 100-seat restaurant. A set of pigs, famous for being welcomed in the pub for a drink, are included in the sale price.

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Lend Lease, Examplar to Build $2 Billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital

LEND Lease and a consortium known as Exemplar Health have been appointed to build a $2 billion tertiary hospital at Kawana in the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

The Sunshine Coast University Hospital (artist impression, right) will include 738 beds with the first stage due for completion in late 2016.

A statement released by Lend Lease this afternoon is copied below:

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Ray White to Invest $100 Million in South Korean Mixed Use Project

LOCAL real estate group Ray White is reportedly considering investing $100 million in a South Korean real estate development at Gwangyang, on the less developed south-eastern coast of the country (map, right, with Gwangyang highlighted).

The move, part of a continuing low profile expansion into Asia, will see a residential and retail development developed in an area the central government is trying to encourage decentralization out of Seoul.

According to the AFR which reported the Gwangyang proposal in detail, the 2012 Expo is being held at the nearby town of Yeosu. It is in a city where most of Australia’s iron ore exports to South Korea are delivered for use at the Posco steel mill, nearby.

South Korea has long been a large commodities export market.

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South Africa’s Growthpoint Pays GPT $50 Million For Canberra Office

SOUTH African backed Growthpoint Properties Australia has paid $50 million for a Canberra office complex fully leased by the federal government.

The 10-12 Mort Street complex (pictured, right), offloaded by the GPT Group, includes two adjoining six-level towers with a total of 15,400 square metres of A-grade space. The AFR, which reported the sale, did not disclose the rent paid by the government or the yield the property sold for.

Over the past three years the trust has acquired $835 million in real estate. It bought four office assets last December for $294 million, and also , three office assets in Brisbane, an office development in Sydney’s Gore Hill Technology Park.

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