Chinese residential developer Country Garden has acquired a second residential site in Sydney after a three-year hiatus.
After several false starts, and a change of general manager in its Australian operations, the company has now secured a site amalgamated from 10 private houses in the booming suburb of St Leonards, just north of Sydney CBD for a price of about A$45 million ($34.5 million), according to the Australian Financial Review.
The put and call option sale between the owners of the houses on Berry, Park and River Roads and Country Garden in the suburb located across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, less than ten kilometres from the city’s central business district was done off market.
The southern end of St Leonards, where Country Garden’s new site is located, has undergone masterplan rezoning for high density development resulting in many developers land-banking heavily in the area, with amalgamation of private lots becoming common. Many house owners in the area have reportedly sold their $1 million to $2 million houses at a premium of 3 to 4 times.
Country Garden Gets a Second Act in Sydney
Country Garden first entered the Australian market in 2013 with the purchase of a 17,580 square metre site in North Ryde in Sydney’s north from Australian logistics giant Goodman Group for A$73 million.
Apartments in the first stage of that Ryde Garden project sold out within hours when they were put on sale in early 2014, while the sale of the second stage later in the year was also successful, with penthouses sold for $1.45 million.
Country Garden now has 830 apartments underway at Ryde Garden, with completion expected in 2017.
St Leonards Gets Hot With Chinese Developers
St Leonards favorable rezoning and its proximity to downtown has made it a development hotspot in Sydney, with Chinese developers racing their local competitors to scoop up sites in the suburb.
China’s New Hope Group has teamed with local developer VIMG to build The Landmark, a $380 million tower in St Leonards which at 46 storeys will be the area’s tallest residential building.
Chinese insurance giant Ping An is also active in the area after agreeing in June this year to team with Australia’s Mirvac to a 50-50 joint venture to co-develop a 500-apartment project in St Leonards Square.
State-run Chinese giant Poly Real Estate and Greaton, formerly Zhengtang, also have purchased projects in the district.