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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A Review of Melbourne Apartment Projects: Those Marketed; Those Canned

INCENTIVES offered to stimulate apartment construction during the economic downturn, such as record low interest rates, and first home owner grants, have resulted in some of the city’s biggest, boldest apartment-based projects being offered to the market.

But not all developers could get their projects out of the ground.

Domain took a look at some of the more ambitious redevelopment proposals launched, and canned, since its last Apartment Guide, in Spring 2010:

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Major Projects to Proceed in Cranbourne, Melbourne

IT has been a busy period in Melbourne’s outer south-east.

Last week, Planning Minister Justin Madden unveiled a master plan for a new suburb, Cranbourne East, capable of accommodating 20,000 people.

Now, in nearby Cranbourne West, first time developer Wolfdene is readying to start marketing the first blocks within its $56 million Alarah estate, at 660 Hall Road.

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A Step by Step Guide to Selling Your Property

ANYONE who has sold their homes can tell you the process is complex and stressful.

With so many variables to consider – including choosing the right agent, taking aim at your market and negotiating with interested parties – selling real estate is an art and one that often frustrates prospective buyers, who feel forced to pay more than they wanted.

With the real estate market getting into full swing after the holiday season, Sunday Domain talks to the experts about the sale process, what it costs and what to expect.

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IOOF Investment Management Buys $24 Million Industrial Asset, Derrimut

IOOF Investment Management Ltd has paid $24 million for a 27,000 square metre industrial facility in Melbourne’s west.

The Derrimut investment is within Australand’s West Park Industrial Estate – a 290 hectare industrial park located fifteen kilometres from town on Boundary Road, abutting the Deer Park Bypass.

Just over a year ago IOOF paid $19 million for another asset in the Australand estate. Other West Park occupants include Mitre 10, Freight Specialists, La-Z-Boy and Bed Bath N’Table.

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ATO Moves to Sell Distinctive Unfinished Perth Mansion

THE distinctive half-built Perth mansion dubbed by locals as the ‘Taj on Swan’ is a step closer to being sold after the Australian Taxation Office moved proceedings in the Federal Court.

The half built home (pictured above at various stages of construction) on the corner of Bay View Terrace and Keane Street in Peppermint Grove is expected to fetch between $15 million and $18 million, according to sources.

It’s been reported the domed structure was costing $70 million to construct, and upon completion would be one of the most expensive properties in Australia.

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News Limited Issues Leasing Requirements, Sydney, Which May See it Quit Long Time Surry Hills Home

MEDIA giant News Corp has signaled it could relocate from its long-time, owner-occupied premises in Holt Street, Surry Hills, in Sydney’s inner south.

The local News Limited arm has issued a leasing requirement for between 2000 and 12,000 square metres to occupy in the medium and long term. In addition it is looking for 1000 square metres to 5000 square metres of space immediately.

News Limited – which recently announced a restructure which would involve shedding jobs – is looking around Sydney’s western suburbs as well as Chatswood and the North Shore.

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Corporate Giant KPMG Leases Offices on the Sunshine Coast

The corporate giant, which occupies thousands of square metres of high-end space in the major capitals, has leased 500 square metres at the Emporio mixed used development at 2 Emporio Place, Maroochydore.

The seven-year lease is reported by the AFR as having two further five year options.

KPMG is reportedly paying $180,000 per annum to occupy the space, which equates to $360 per square metre, per annum. Colliers International and Savills leased the space on behalf of Reed Property Group.

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Australia’s Population Boom Continues, We’re Now at 22.5 Million

AUSTRALIAN Bureau of Statistics show the nation’s population surged 1.4 per cent last year to 22.5 million.

Victoria led the population surge recruiting 75,000 new residents in the way of immigration, more babies and a net increase from other states. The state now has 5.6 million people.

Mining states Western Australia (which gained 67,400 residents) and Queensland (66,500) were the next fastest growing states.

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Axiom Properties Sells Adelaide Bulky Goods Complex For $18.8 Million

AXIOM Properties has sold a freestanding Bunnings warehouse outlet in Islington, South Australia, to a private investor for $18.8 million.

The 12,600 square metre property includes a building leased to the Wesfarmers owned hardware retailer for 15 years, with two further five year options.

Bunnings started trading from the Islington store three months ago.

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Anaylst to PCA: Carbon Tax to Balloon Construction Costs Much Higher Than Anticipated

THE cost of building an office tower could rise 1.7 per cent under a carbon tax, substantially more than the previous estimates of between 0.2 and 0.5 per cent.

Building a 200 square metre home would also rise by 1.7 per cent, or about $18 per square metre, because of the tax, according to new research prepared for the Property Council of Australia, by adviser Allen Conosulting Group.

An initial price of $23 per tonne of carbon will be imposed on Australia’s top 500 carbon emitters from July 1, 2012. This will rise to $25.50 per tonne in the 2015 financial year.

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More Tenants Lease Space at Canberra Centre

MORE tenants have been announced as leasing space within the Majura Park project in Canberra.

Due to open on March 29, the developer, Canberra Airport, has announced Rockmans, Crossroads, Trendbags, Ally Fashion, EB Games, Subway, Michel’s Patisserie, Oporto and Payless shoes have leased space within the $150 million complex.

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Consortium Led by Bill Moss Buys Cradle Mountain Lodge, Tasmania

FORMER Macquarie Group head Bill Moss, on behalf of a consortium of wealthy investors, has paid $25 million for Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain Lodge.

The asset, developed 25 years ago, has been affected by dwindling tourism numbers which have seen holiday arrivals in Tasmania collapse from 450,000 at a peak in 2007-08, to about 375,000 recently.

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