26 July 2016

Light House – Progress Update

Construction on Light House Tower is progressing steadily with the following updates as of 26 July 2016:

  • Structural core has been completed to Level 31.
  • Concrete pours of levels to Level 29.
  • Glass and metal façade to Level 24 has been completed.
  • Joinery installed to level 13.
  • Amenities level (pool/gym/other) structural areas completed. Cosmetic fitout due to begin in August.

21 April 2015

Chinese developer Hengyi snaps up massive Melbourne site

Giant Chinese property developer Hengyi has emerged as the buyer for a massive development project on the edge of the Melbourne CBD, which has a permit for more than 1000 apartments.

Hengyi, which is a subsidiary of Shandong HYI Group, a powerful player in China’s Shandong province, has significant exposure through two other residential projects in the Melbourne CBD.

The Chinese group acquired the site at 170 Victoria Street from listed Singaporean developer Chip Eng Seng for $64.8 million last month.

The deal attracted considerable attention in the market. The Singaporean seller doubled its money in just two years after gaining a planning permit under the previous state government.

A hiatus in the approval of planning permits after the change of government and market uncertainty over how readily new Planning Minister Richard Wynne will dispense permits have added a premium to good sites with permits.

Chip Eng Seng acquired the corner site – a 2927-square-metre parcel of the former Carlton & United brewery – from Grocon only two years ago for $32 million.

Through its Australian subsidiary, CES Victoria, the Singaporeans won approval for a 72-storey Elenberg Fraser-designed tower comprising 1035 apartments.

The transaction is thought to have set a record for the Carlton area, just north of the CBD, with a land rate of just over $22,000 per square metre.

It was handled by Colliers International’s Trent Hobart and Bryson Cameron, who were not available for comment.

Hengyi, which also declined to comment, is embarking on a 607-apartment project in Elizabeth Street called the Light House. Nearby, it has redeveloped two neighbouring towers in William Street into residential accommodation.


4 June 2014

Hengyi eyes new ventures beyond Melbourne

Chinese-backed developer Hengyi Australia is looking beyond Melbourne for fresh investment opportunities, after selling $240 million worth of apartments in its latest high-rise development overlooking Queen Victoria Market.

Hengyi Australia head of marketing and development Stephen Speer told The Australian Financial Review the company was “actively looking for opportunities” and was currently considering a number of joint ­ventures both in Melbourne and around Australia.

Light House, is a 69-level high-rise apartment development on the ­corner of Elizabeth Street and Franklin Street in central Melbourne with an end value of $320 million. It is due for completion in early 2017.

The project is a joint venture between Hengyi and Melbourne GP-turned-developer Harold Chua.

Dr Chua acquired what is currently the Melbourne International Backpackers – a four-storey building on a 1009 square metre site – for $3.8 million in 2000 through his property investment business, Sixth Grange.

The existing backpackers will be demolished in October, with construction to begin next year.

Light House has been designed by architects Elenberg Fraser featuring an exterior luminescent shell of reflective panels.

It’s the second Australian project for Hengyi, an affiliate of China’s Shandong HYI Group, a large-scale residential and commercial developer based in the Shandong province.

Hengyi’s other Melbourne project – its first in Australia – is the 23-level residential conversion The William.  Due for completion in September, it will feature residences plus a serviced apartment component run by US hotel group Wyndham.

Light House features 607 units of which 75 per cent have already been sold. The contracts are worth $240 million on settlement.

Mr Speer said 120 apartments were sold following investor roadshows in Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. A further batch was sold through agents in Shanghai.

There was no restriction on the number that could be sold overseas, with as many as 40 per cent ­potentially owned by offshore ­investors, Mr Speer said.