New dawn in Collingwood for UEM Sunrise
Melbourne's Jowett Motor Group has offloaded its inner-city Collingwood site to a developer for $43 million with plans in place for a mixed-use development.
UEM Sunrise snapped up the 5,390sq m site, one of Melbourne's well-known car dealerships.
Malaysian residential developer UEM Sunrise has invested into its expectation of a recovery in the apartment market after the pandemic slowdown, acquiring a prominent inner-city Melbourne site through a $43 million deal.
The 5390 sq m car dealership on Hoddle Street, in Collingwood, gives the Malaysian government-backed developer plenty of scope to create a major mixed-use project in the trendy city fringe suburb.
The scale of the deal and the site's potential underline UEM Sunrise's view on prospects for the residential development market.
"The acquisition of the landmark Collingwood site signals a new chapter in Melbourne for UEM Sunrise, and continues our active presence in the Australian market," said UEM Sunrise managing director Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib.
"There’s no doubt that Collingwood has evolved into a go-to residential and commercial precinct thanks to its close proximity to the CBD, vibrant cafe culture and wonderful sense of community."
The Collingwood acquisition follows on from UEM's efforts in the CBD, where it has completed its $800 million project, the 88-storey Aurora Melbourne Central, as well as the smaller Conservatory tower.
The move into Collingwood also provides a neat contrast to UEM Sunrise's position almost a year ago when it moved to divest an upmarket project on St Kilda Road. The Zaha Hadid-designed development had pre-sold less than half its apartments as the residential development went into a downturn.
"The Melbourne commercial and residential sector continues to remain strong despite challenges presented from the global COVID-19 pandemic," Mr Syahrin said, noting the state government's support for shovel-ready projects.
"We are optimistic when it comes to strategic and well-positioned opportunities."
The inner-east site, purchased from Jowett Properties and home to a car dealership, was brokered by Colliers International's Oliver Hay and Peter Bremner in conjunction with ICR's Raff De Luise.
Mr Hay said the transaction was evidence that major players were confident of the market's longer-term prospects.
Publicly listed in Malaysia, UEM Sunrise is the development arm of the UEM Group, which is wholly owned by Khazanah, a Malaysian government investment fund.
Its flagship Aurora project in the centre of the city was fully sold before its completion and has achieved a 98 per cent settlement rate for its residences.
The massive tower also has a component of serviced apartments, which UEM sold to student accommodation player Scape Australia in a $125 million transaction late last year, after an earlier deal with Singapore's Ascendas Hospitality Trust fell over.
Source: Nick Lenaghan for AFR: https://www.afr.com/property/residential/new-dawn-in-collingwood-for-uem-sunrise-20200619-p554d6