Chinese real estate giant R&F Properties has added to its string of more than 15 overseas projects by signing an A$6.3 billion ($4.8 billion) deal to build around 10,000 homes in Brisbane, Australia.
The development heavyweight signed an agreement earlier this month with transplanted mainland developer Etone Australia Holdings and Australia’s Springfield Land Corporation to develop a set of mid and high-rise towers in the planned community of Greater Springfield in Brisbane’s southwest corner over the next 15 years.
The project known as Central Gardens will also include around 9,000 square metres of office and retail space near Greater Springfield’s central transport hub. The investment by Guangzhou R&F is the latest of several projects in the capital of Australia’s Queensland state as the company emerges as one of China’s most prolific cross-border developers.
Chinese Developer Joins Privately Developed Brisbane Suburb
“We are delighted to partner with R&F Properties and Etone to embark on Greater Springfield’s next major growth phase,” Springfield Land Corporation Chairman Maha Sinnathamby said in a statement. “A lot of work has been completed to get to this point and we look forward to a long and collaborative relationship with our new partners”.
Greater Springfield, which is being developed by Springfield Land, is Australia’s first privately built city covering a total area of 2,860 hectares. The city was founded over 22 years ago to support Brisbane’s growing population and presently holds an estimated 34,000 residents. To date, $12.7 billion has been invested into the project, according to a statement by the company.
Central Garden is located on land originally purchased for A$7.9 million (approximately $6.03 million) and is close to existing and planned infrastructure. According to Sinnathamby, Central Gardens will become “an alternative to the Brisbane CBD, by providing new housing and work choices” for residents in the area.
R&F Takes on Another Aussie Project
R&F, which is a top 20 developer in China, has shown a taste for Brisbane as the company controlled by southern Chinese billionaire Li Sze-Lim works to become a global player.
The Guangzhou-based homebuilder entered Australia’s third-largest city with a splash in 2014 by paying developer Metro Property A$46 million for a project the local company had purchased for A$22 million less than a year earlier. The Chinese firm has at least three other projects now in the city of two million people, after saying in 2015 that it would make Brisbane the centre of an A$500 million development push.
R&F’s passion for Australia fits into what analysts see as an emerging trend among mainland firms. According to a study conducted by real estate consultancy firm Knight Frank, Chinese developers purchased more than A$2.5 billion worth of Australian property development sites in 2016 – accounting for 38 percent of the total development sites purchased in the country last year.
R&F has not limited its overseas push to Australia, however, with the company, which had contracted sales of RMB 60.86 billion in 2016 already having acquired projects Malaysia, the US and other locations.
Just last month the developer announced that it plans to invest $3 billion to build six star hotels in Cambodia, and the company has been one of the biggest Chinese investors in Malaysia with six projects in the southeast Asian nation.
In the US, Guangzhou R&F has acquired three properties in San Francisco, including paying $28.5 million in cash during 2015 to acquire the Rincon Hill project site at 325 Fremont Street in San Francisco. The company also has a residential project in San Jose, California.