When it comes to foreign investors rolling in millions of dollars in the Australian commercial property sector, no one can beat the big conglomerates from China. The beginning of this year witnessed a similar move from the China Poly Group wherein the business giant announced that it is offering stakes in its office projects in Sydney and Melbourne. Directed at expanding its control in the industry and entering the commercial development market, this will work in favour of the group through the expansion of their global assets.
With lending rules becomes stricter and the amount available for lending going down, many investors are now finding commercial property for sale in Australia to be a more profitable option as it is more capital intensive. The Poly Property Group Co., Ltd. is a Hong-Kong based property developer, and its primary business activities include property development, investment and management.
While 80% of its development projects across the world comprise of residential properties, the company has more than 70 office towers in Australia, China and the United Kingdom. The group is striving to acquire and build commercial properties in various international central business districts.
Looking For Partnerships That Strengthen Grip
Keeping its goal in mind, the Poly Group is aiming to ramp up its Australian stronghold by offering stakes worth $1 billion and has hired a real estate agency to find partners for the same. The Group is offering 49% stake in its Sydney Harbour project in Central Sydney which is worth $300 million. The construction will begin soon, and the partial sale of the property will give the Group the flexibility to acquire other projects. The partners will co-own a stake in the projects while Poly will develop them.
The Shanghai-listed property developer is looking to make its mark in asset management and is believed to be in talks for the development of a multi-storey office tower in the Docklands of Melbourne at the La Strobe St. The 24-storey building will be spread across 31,500sqm. This site was earlier being considered for the development of a residential property with 600 apartments when it was purchased by the Group for $32 million. However, the plans changed with the rising demand for commercial property in Australia.
Poly is looking for partners to develop its site near Circular Quay which is worth $500 million and the contract is said to be in the final stages of completion. The office site is being constructed by Westpac and covers an area of 17000sqm. Branded as Poly Centre Sydney, it will be positioned on the George St. The design of the building even fetched an award for the architecture firm Grimshaw. This tower will act as a boutique substitute for the AMP Capital developed Quay Quarter Tower which is in pipeline and the Lendlease Circular Quay Tower.
Now the Group wants to find more partners in Queensland and other states with plans to offer a stake in its Richmond property. It has been reported that many local and foreign investors are showing interest in the commercial properties and Poly is taking every option into consideration. It is still unclear if the inclination of the Chinese Group is towards international investors or the local players.
The Positive Effect Of This Strategy
The advantage of this careful planning is that many projects will get started before time and will strengthen the commercial sector as the residential market goes through a slowdown. The project underway on George Street will comprise of 15 storeys and is located just a few minutes away from One Circular Quay. The massive property will include 16000sqm of office space and another 1000sqm of retail space. This site was purchased for a total of $160 million in 2016 and consists of a few other units located next to each other.
The Poly Group acquired this property from Anton Capital and Goldman Sachs. The high returns from the commercial property sector have further altered the plans of the Mainland developer. According to some reports, the Group has made a significant change to its plan of redeveloping a project near the Epworth Richmond Hospital in Melbourne. The 2047sqm site which the developer had bought in 2016 for $15.5 million was initially being prepared for the erection of condos.
However, the latest news reports suggest that the Group will be using the site for the development of commercial property. This change of plans is not restricted to Poly Group. Many other developers from China such as Woodlink and Golden Age Group have withdrawn an investment of $1 billion made in the residential development projects of Melbourne.
Poly Will Continue To Expand Portfolio In Australia
The changes have not stopped Poly from making future investments in the country. It has been steadily expanding its reach with a plethora of projects in the hottest cities of Australia in terms of property. In fact a while back the Group acquired a 4000sqm site in Richmond which will be developed for office space including a retail space of 200sqm. This project was also slated to be a residential one which was later transformed by the developer.
There are speculations that this site may also have a stake sold off to investors. Going by the numbers, the Group is all set to rule commercial real estate for sale in Australia. This has instilled confidence in other foreign investors who are snapping up big opportunities in Sydney and Melbourne by the dozen.
The Abacus Property Group along with its South Korean partner is planning to acquire Zurich headquarters in North Sydney for close to $300 million. Similarly, ARA Asset Management is eyeing PR company Publicis Groupe’s new home in Pyrmont for approximately $300 million.
The Poly Group has put in over $800 million from the start of its investment spree which began in 2014. The Group has grown to create a $2 billion pipeline which is mainly present in Melbourne and Sydney. The new investments are aimed at accomplishing its business goal of becoming the third largest developer in Australia in the next ten years.