Transplanted Chinese developer Aqualand picked up its ninth project in Sydney, and its second this month, with the purchase last week of an office building in the city’s Milsons Point area from Australian real estate investment company Barana Group for A$140 million (US$105.5 million).
This latest acquisition comes less than two weeks after the Sydney-based subsidiary of Shanghai Shenglong Investment bought an industrial property in Sydney’s Macquarie Business Park for A$54 million (US$41 million), and a little over a year after Aqualand set property price records in the city by acquiring a North Sydney site for nearly $A160 million and a former navy yard in the city for A$180 million.
Also, last week there were reports that Aqualand had won the bid for a $1.35 billion mixed-use project in Sydney’s Barangaroo area.
Converting Commercial Space into Housing
Like these earlier acquisitions of commercial sites, Aqualand, which is run by the son of Shenglong’s chairman, plans to convert its latest purchase, the “Samsung building” at Lavender Street in Milsons Point, into a luxury apartment project, according to the Australian Financial Review.
The trend towards converting commercial space into housing has become a popular theme in downtown Sydney, with China’s Dalian Wanda Group and Shimao Property already making similar plans for office properties that they purchased in the city.
The building is a top buy for the group, because it comes with a development approval to build 135 apartments in a 20-storey tower. Already christened Harbourfront Milsons Point, the project is directly in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, blessing it with one of Sydney’s best views.
The site is “the last significant harbourside residential development opportunity in the tightly held and developed suburb of Milsons Point,” according to Sydney-based agents cited in the Financial Review’s report.
Aqualand Adds to Upscale Sydney Portfolio
Aqualand plans to launch sales of apartments at Harbourfront Milsons Point next year, adding the units to its existing portfolio of projects in the city, including the REVY in the Pyrmont area of downtown Sydney – where apartments sell for up to $11.3 million.
In addition to picking up two new sites this month, last week, Aqualand also received planning approval to build another 415 apartments at its Walker Street site in North Sydney, just a stone’s throw away from the Milsons Point site. It bought that site for A$157.5 million ($118.6 million) last year.