Melbourne Star Observation Wheel sold

Robu has purchased the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel.

Japanese builder Sanoyas Holdings Corporation has sold the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel after eight years.

Swiss Ferris wheel designer and manager Robu Group is the buyer.

The purchase price is as yet undisclosed.

The 120-metre high Docklands facility cost ING Real Estate c$100m to build in 2009.

It famously shut within a few weeks because of cracking; then took years to fix, affecting retailers which set up within Docklands’ Waterfront City to capitalise on promised visitors.

Robu owns a number of these attractions globally; in Australia this includes the 60m Wheel of Brisbane.

Sanoyas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sanoyas Rides Corporation, designed the Docklands property and built it, twice, in 2006-2008 and three years later.

It purchased the asset from ING in 2013; it was broken again at the time.

Robu settled on February 1 (story continues below).

Melbourne Star Observation Wheel will keep rolling

The new landlord will now master-plan a redevelopment adding visitor activities and experiences.

Melbourne Star will continue to manage it.

Robu chief executive officer Ronald Bussink – who has penned more than 100 of these projects – said he was keen to own the Docklands Ferris wheel before its official opening.

“Melbourne Star has proved to be a very reliable and safe structure over the last seven years,” he added, acknowledging its high profile first years.

“We saw the Melbourne Star as a unique investment opportunity which forms part of our strategic focus on standalone tourism attractions” according to the executive.

The property will be tipped into the landlord’s Turn for Good program which spends profits on social responsibility initiatives.

Robu also owns The Cape Wheel, in South Africa’s Cape Town and in the United States, Skyviews at Miami and another, set to open two months from now in New Jersey.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of