Japan’s largest property developer Mitsui Fudosan has made its first foray into Australia by investing in Frasers Property’s A$2.1 billion ($1.5 billion) urban renewal project in Sydney’s North Shore area, according to a release.
As a capital partner, the Tokyo-listed firm is investing an undisclosed amount into Frasers’ A$232 million MAC Residences condominium project, which makes up first phase of the developer’s Midtown MacPark master-planned community. The mixed tenure Midtown MacPark development will occupy 8.2 hectares (82,000 square metres) of Sydney’s Macquarie Park area, including a 232,500 square foot (21,600 square metre) residential element.
“MAC Residences at Midtown MacPark is the ideal project to mark our entry into the Australian market,” said Masayoshi Saito, managing director for Australia at Mitsui Fudosan. “Additionally, we have an established global relationship with Frasers Property and our two businesses are deeply aligned in our commitment to create high-quality projects which leave a positive legacy.”
The deal was announced less than two months after Sydney was rated as the world’s second-best city – just behind Miami – in terms of price growth for prime residences in Knight Frank’s Global Prime Residential Price Forecast for 2022. Michelle Ciesielski, Head of Residential Research at Knight Frank Australia, said in the report that record prices for upscale homes in the city’s suburban areas contributed to a 9 percent rise in the city’s prime housing values, “especially for those homes located close to the water.”
Offering a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and penthouse accommodations, roughly 91 percent of MAC Residences has been sold at an indicative price per unit of from A$459,500 to A$1,800,000, after the first sales kicked off in October of 2020.
Scheduled to be completed in late 2023, the Bates Smart-designed building on Herring Road and Epping Road will comprise 269 units with 24 above-ground floors. Equipped with a rooftop solar installation and smart metres, 100 percent Climate Active-certified carbon neutral energy will be provided by Real Utilities, Frasers’ Australian-licensed energy retailer.
After Frasers broke ground on the high-rise condominium in early 2021, Mac Residences is set to become the first development in Midtown MacPark — which was known as Ivanhoe estate until the local government of New South Wales selected a tripartite consortium, to transform the area into a new urban neighbourhood. Joining Frasers in the cooperative urban redevelopment venture are local developer Citta Property Group and community housing provider Mission Australia Housing.
Located just 550 metres away from the Macquarie University campus and metro station, Midtown MacPark will be neighbors with Macquarie Exchange, a business park joint venture between Frasers and Sydney-based developer Winten Property Group. Both located within two kilometers of the Macquarie Park rail station, Frasers two projects will be accessible via the new extension of the Sydney North West Metro in 2024, which will connect the city’s north to its Barangaroo, Martin Place and central business districts.
Together Again in Australia
The recent announcement by Mitsui and Frasers comes almost a year after the duo formed a joint venture to develop an integrated logistics park in Chachoengsao, an industrial hub east of Bangkok in Frasers’ home country of Thailand. Frasers holds 51 percent of that THB 3.5 billion ($105 million) project, with Mitsui holding the remaining 49 percent.
“We’re pleased to again partner with Mitsui Fudosan on the MAC Residences development at Midtown MacPark, where we’re applying our place-making and community development expertise to create Sydney’s next great urban neighbourhood,” said Mark Gleeson, executive general manager of investment and capital transactions at Frasers Property Australia.
The Japanese giant’s reunion with Frasers in New South Wales’ third-largest business district has become Mitsui’s first investment activity down under after setting up its Australian arm in 2019.
New Sydney Hotspot
With the new metro line and an estimated 7,000 new jobs coming to the neighbourhood, developers and investors are increasingly targetting northern Sydney — now judged to be New South Wales’ second largest office market after the Sydney CBD, according to Deutsche Bank affiliate DWS’ head of real estate research for Asia Pacific Koichiro Obu.
In September of 2020, SGX-listed Keppel REIT bought a S$306 million office asset in Macquarie Park from Australia’s Goodman Group. That same week, CapitaLand-managed Ascendas REIT announced its acquisition of one of the four office buildings in Macquarie Exchange for A$167.2 million.
Just three months after its September purchase, Ascendas REIT continued its shopping spree in the Macquarie Park area by bagging another business park development from local real estate fund manager AMP Capital for A$288.9 million.