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Co-Working Giant IWG Expands Despite Virus Hit

Co-Working Giant IWG Expands Despite Virus Hit
Global serviced office giant IWG has shrugged off concerns about the potential impact of coronavirus on the commercial property sector, announcing plans for 10 new locations across Australia.

The global player, which has plans to grow its network from 3,500 centres to at least 20,000 worldwide, currently has 77 co-working locations in Australia spanning 80,000 square metres.

The new centres will sit within IWG’s Regus brand, which falls under the umbrella of the global London-listed company and will be delivered in partnership with the Adams Group, which own Queensland-based convenience store and service station operator NightOwl.

“The appetite for flexible and co-working spaces was booming in Australia pre-Covid and the pandemic has only increased demand,” Adams Group chief executive Adam Adams said.

“There is a clear gap in the market for a high-quality product in Queensland and our goal is to partner with Regus, the global leader, with a strong brand, professional infrastructure and worldwide network to fulfil this need.”

The Regus brand will now look to expand into ‘second tier’ cities across Queensland, including Townsville, Cairns, Noosa, Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, the Sunshine Coast and Airlie Beach.

IWG head of partnership growth Mark Bhardwaj said the company’s ongoing franchise concept offered partners the opportunity to make high-yield investments while allowing IWG to expand without the use of its own capital.

Related: WeWork Defies Headwinds With New Brisbane Digs

▲ Since co-working was introduced in San Francisco in 2005, more than 17,000 spaces have opened globally, with Australia ranked sixth globally for co-working growth per capita.

IWG’s expansion plans were not enough to prevent the co-working provider from announcing a pre-tax loss of £176m (A$320m) in the six months to the end of June compared with £35.5m (A$63.3m) profit in the same period in 2019.

Despite the losses, and foot traffic across the company’s Australian portfolio falling by a third of pre-Covid-19 levels, IWG plans to push ahead with a recently-acquired £320m (A$568m) capital raise to fund its expansion drive.

With 7 million square metres across 18 major cities, flexible office space now equates to 4 per cent of total Asia-Pacific office stock, according to analysis by CBRE.

ASX-listed serviced office provider Servcorp, which has a global footprint that encompasses 145 locations in 52 cities, reported a 4.6 per cent lift in revenue to $352.9 million across the fiscal year even as its net capacity decreased.

And despite ongoing uncertainty about the company’s future, US giant WeWork recently opened its 21st location in Australia, and local start-up Workit Spaces expanded to a third site, both targeting enterprise customers.

WeWork moved into a heritage-listed corner building at 66 King St in the Sydney CBD following a $72 million restoration and upgrade.

Workit Spaces also recently secured 9,000sq m on a 15-year lease at Goodman Group’s Alexandria Industrial Estate at 39 Bourke Road, Sydney with the ability to house up to 350 small to large e-commerce businesses.

This article is republished from https://theurbandeveloper.com/ under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
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Commercial

Double Bay mansion hits market with jaw-dropping $28 million price guide

Double Bay mansion hits market

A sprawling mansion in Double Bay has hit the market with an eye-watering $28 million price guide.

Representing one of the largest private landholdings in the uber-affluent locale, 11 Pinehill Avenue is being offered for sale for the first time in over 50 years.

The staggering abode is spread over a scarcely believable 2300-square-metre parcel of blue-chip land, tucked away at the end of a quiet, leafy cul de sac.

The main residence is a breathtaking two-story Federation home with great bones and a resoundingly charming aesthetic.

Boasting a total of six bedrooms and four bathrooms, the abode’s interior has, however, been refurbished and redesigned to present as a much more contemporary and functional proposition.

Features include an expansive formal lounge area, formal dining room, a bar, wine cellar, study, library, professional kitchen, and a master suite with his and hers walk-in robes.

Outside, manicured grounds and established flora are complemented by an expansive pool, spa and lounge area, as well as a lock-up two-car garage.

The eye-watering asking price may sound patently absurd to some. However, considering Double Bay’s median house price currently sits at a not unsubstantial $6.5 million, just the sheer size of the block is probably enough to warrant an asking price nearly four times as much as the median.

And, according to Domain’s data, the platinum postcode’s property witnessed skyrocketing values over the course of 2021, up 52.4 per cent compared to 2020.

So, there’s every chance that, if things in Australia’s hottest property market keep going the way they have been, 11 Pinehill Avenue may well be worth a lot more in just a few short years, crazy as that may sound.

 

 

Article source: www.domain.com.au

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Brisbane

Hutchinson Builders takes over Cbus Brisbane tower that broke Probuild

Hutchinson Builders takes over Cbus Brisbane tower

Hutchinson Builders will take over the completion of Cbus Property’s troubled residential development in Brisbane, one of most problematic projects for failed construction contractor Probuild.

The awarding of the contract was widely expected, as family-owned Hutchies, the largest Queensland-based builder, was seen as the only contractor capable of taking on the 47-level project.

“Since commencing preliminary works on site three weeks ago, Cbus Property, together with Hutchinson Builders, continues to finalise subcontractor negotiations and prepare a revised construction programme,” Cbus Property chief executive Adrian Pozzo said on Monday.

“Once finalised, we will provide an update to purchasers with a more definitive completion timeline.”

Chairman Scott Hutchinson told The Australian Financial Review in early March he was “quietly hoping” to pick up the job and the announcement makes it second time lucky for the company that came second to Probuild in the 2017 race for the project.

Probuild had tendered a price for the project that was $40 million less than Hutchies’ price and a year faster to build, Mr Hutchinson said. Probuild has not confirmed those numbers, nor has Cbus Property.

But the project turned into such a drag for the business that Probuild parent WBHO said last year – long before putting the company into administration in February this year – that the project had racked up a $48 million loss.

Sydney-based Roberts Co has acquired Probuild’s Victorian projects and Built has taken over Dexus’ 25 Martin Place project in Sydney. The future of Greaton’s Ribbon project at Sydney’s Darling Harbour is still not clear.

Article source: www.afr.com

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Commercial

Tech Entrepreneur Disrupts With Shop-Top Development Proposal

Development

The flames on the fryers at the Palm Beach Fish & Chips Shop, a roadside institution on Sydney’s northern beaches, flickered off months ago.

But tech rich-lister Robin Khuda is still feeling the heat.

The demolition crew has come and gone, levelling the site where locals along with movie stars, rock stars and sporting heroes had once placed their salt-sprinkled orders.

A development battle line—with a pristine view over Pittwater—has been drawn.

On one side is the wealthy founder of data centre operator AirTrunk who wants to build a shop-top residential development adjoining the landmark heritage-listed Barrenjoey House.

On the other side is a local community—much of it also cashed-up—fighting to protect the peninsula’s village vibe.

Khuda, who has been on a $120-million-plus property acquisition spree over the past couple of years, purchased the 1140sq m Barrenjoey Road site through his investment entity Asia Digital Investments for $6 million.

Since then, he has been seeking to amend the site’s existing development approval granted in 2014 for four apartments and three retail tenancies.

Last year, an application for modification of the development consent was lodged with the Northern Beaches Council for a three-level design with six apartments above retail.

But following community backlash and council feedback deeming it “unacceptable and inconsistent with the seaside village character” of the area it was withdrawn.

Development

▲ The former Palm Beach Fish & Chips Shop on Barrenjoey Road, which has been demolished to make way for the controversial shop-top residential development.

Design firm Rob Mills Architecture went back to the drawing board to address the concerns regarding the proposal’s architectural style, appearance and relationship to the adjoining heritage listed Barrenjoey House.

Subsequently, a new application for an alternative shop-top concept—to be constructed at an estimated cost of about $13.6 million—was recently filed.

It comprises a three-storey building with pitched rather than flat roof forms that according to the documents is “both sympathetic to its context and contemporary in its use of materials and forms in response to local climate and the seaside village character”.

The new scheme includes a publicly-accessible plaza and “deep and generously proportioned” colonnade providing weather-protected outdoor seating adjacent to the commercial tenancies on the ground level.

It is topped with five residences—one two-bedroom and two three-bedroom apartments on the first level, and two four-bedroom apartments on the second level.

Development

▲ Artist’s impression of the previous development proposal for the Barrenjoey Road site which was deemed “unacceptable and inconsistent with the seaside village character” of the area.

The new application concedes the upper-level roof eaves exceed the site’s 8.5m height blanket by as much as 2.99m in some parts and a height variation request has been submitted.

“We consider that such request is well-founded in that it facilitates the development of the site in a manner which provides far superior urban design, heritage conservation, residential amenity and landscape outcomes compared to the development approved,” the planning report said.

A submitted heritage impact statement noted the proposed new building was “similar in height and scale to Barrenjoey House” and although contemporary in character it “demonstrates respect for the key forms, architectural proportions and materiality” of its 99-year-old neighbour.

It concluded the proposed works would have “no impact on the ability to understand the significance of the nearby heritage listed items” and would support “the ongoing significance of the area as a neighbourhood precinct”.

Numerous submissions objecting to the new scheme already have been lodged by the local community.

They describe the proposal as a monstrosity, imposing, grossly out of character and, according to the owner of a property behind the site, even higher than the previous proposal.

“It is a bulky building that not only flaunts height restrictions but is of an ugly, pretentious post-modern design; a complete anachronism,” one of the objections said. “With heavy neo-classical porticos and and a pitched federation roofline it is not at all sympathetic to the site and the lifestyle of the area.”

But one of the submissions begged to differ describing it as “a beautiful asset to the already beautiful Palm Beach area”.

“We can’t keep living in the past and not let these beautifully designed buildings be built,” it added.

Khuda—who has amassed a $600 million fortune as a data centre entrepreneur—in recent times has been satisfying a newfound penchant for high-end property investment and development.

His property splurge has included a total of three holdings in Palm Beach for $25 million as well as a coastal retreat in Lennox Head for $7 million, an apartment in Crown Resorts’ Barangaroo tower for $10.7 million and a Mosman mansion for close to $20 million.

The AirTrunk chief executive has also acquired two old apartment blocks at Manly’s North Steyne for $18.2 million, which are earmarked for another luxury apartment development.

 

Article Source: www.theurbandeveloper.com

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