Operation “Get Google” has begun following news the tech giant’s proposal for a Redfern-based hub was rejected by the New South Wales government this week.
States are vying for Google’s attention in the hope it might broaden its headquarters search, expected to create 19,000 jobs, beyond Sydney should the harbour city not follow through in sealing the deal.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she’d welcome Google to establish its headquarters in the sunshine state.
“If there was a move afoot, and if there were plans to move, of course we would be right in there to give it a go,” she said.
“But my understanding is they have no plans at this stage to move their staff from Sydney to Queensland.”
Palaszczuk confirmed the QLD government had made contact with Google on Wednesday.
Related reading: Mirvac Pulls Out of Showgrounds Development Following Rezoning Concerns
Adelaide’s Lord Mayor said the city “would welcome” the tech giant establishing its Australian headquarters in the CBD.
“The State Government has been in contact with Google to further explore its Australian intensions and requirements, and will be promoting South Australia as an attractive place to invest,” a spokeswoman said.
Google is currently based in Sydney’s Pyrmont, where most of its Australian workforce is based.
State Opposition leader Luke Foley has questioned the government’s commitment to securing tech jobs for NSW.
“My fear is that Victoria will sneak in under our state’s guard and attract these jobs,” Foley said.
“This is a missed opportunity for Sydney, we should be attracting the high-tech jobs of the future but the government seems disinterested.”
The NSW government has decided to move forward with a competitive tender process for its 12 hectare Redfern site, set to begin in the coming months.
The decision will mean Google and developer Mirvac, who submitted the proposal, will need to enter the competitive process against other prospective bidders to ensure their plan of a Redfern tech headquarters comes to fruition.
Hutchinson Builders takes over Cbus Brisbane tower that broke Probuild
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.
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
Tech Entrepreneur Disrupts With Shop-Top Development Proposal
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.
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.
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
Charter Hall raising $75m property fund
Charter Hall’s hit the fund-raising trail to raise $75 million for its second fund in the Wholesale Property Series (WPS).
The WPS is a fund-of-fund targeted at high-net-worth types that invest in a mixed bag of Charter Hall’s commercial property assets.
The firm raised its first iteration two years ago, bringing in $278 million and returning 19.1 per cent on an annualised basis since then.
It began mailing out detailed information memorandums for WPS2 (official name: Charter Hall Wholesale Property Series No.2) this month with an initial $75 million target.
But the fundraising period would run for two years, making it likely the end size would match its older siblings’.
The fund is closed-ended with a seven-year term, with realisations to start from the fourth year. That’s a long lock-in commitment and potential investors were reminded of the rewards of patience; the fund is targeting total returns of 8 to 9 per cent with quarterly distributions.
Office and industrials (including logistics) were top of the list for allocations at 20 to 50 per cent of the portfolio each, followed by smaller allocations to long-WALE (10 to 40 per cent), social infrastructure (up to 30 per cent) and listed REITs (up to 15 per cent).
Charter Hall’s divvying up the initial $75 million across five of its funds, where the WPS2 would be either the institutional pooled investor or an institutional partner depending on the fund structure.
That’s 210 properties with 98.6 per cent occupancy and Telstra, David Jones, Bunnings, Macquarie and Aldi among the largest tenants, potential investors were told.
Charter Hall’s grown from $500 million in 2004 to $79.5 billion in group fund under management at December end. The wholesale segment has been a big part of its growth and accounted for $38.5 billion of the $61.3 billion it has in property.
Article Source: www.afr.com
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