The Mumbai-based Wadhawan family – headed by 55-year-old Rakesh, who is worth about $2.5 billion – is believed to be formalising the purchase of three development sites between 400 and 430 City Road, near the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The site will span more than 12,000 square metres when amalgamated, and is speculated to be costing Wadhawan more than $40 million to secure.
Sources anticipate the site to accommodate up to five high-rise apartment buildings, a luxury hotel and ultra-ritzy boutique retail spaces. The block fronts City Road, and Whiteman and Cecil streets.
Wadhawan’s biggest property projects are in Mumbai and Dubai, where it develops and manages high-end residential and commercial buildings.
But the company is diversified and diversifying. It recently announced plans for Spinach, a 1500-store supermarket chain in India. Also on the cards is a food-packaging business.
The Southbank site forms the area once known as the City Road Wedge when it was owned by millionaire car wholesaler Izzy Herzog, who subdivided and sold it in the 1990s.
Gross Waddell director Joseph Carbone is behind the deal. He declined to comment when contacted by Capital Gain, citing a confidentiality clause.
APARTMENT developers have swooped on several major Southbank sites this year.
Last month, interests associated with private developer Benni Aroni paid $14.2 million for a 2642 sq m development site at 70 Southbank Boulevard, while another private investor paid $6.05 million for a site at the corner of City Road and Clarendon Street.
In Sturt Street, private developer LAS Investments bought the former Collins Mitsubishi site off Drapac for $13.5 million and is also planning apartments.
The City of Melbourne wants to beautify City Road as part of a plan to improve amenity in Southbank, and better integrate the precinct to the central business district, Docklands and South Melbourne.