Harry Triguboff’s heaving wheelbarrow: a timeline of Meriton’s growing $300m Sydney apartment site inventory

Age has not slowed the ambitions of Australia’s high-rise apartment king Harry Triguboff.

Turning 80 in March spurred ‘High-rise Harry’ to add to Meriton’s inventory of residential development sites in Sydney with Asian buyers likely to be the primary target for off-the-plan marketing campaigns.

He did reflect on his octagenerian status by hinting at one day handing on the reins of his business to his grandchildren while a foray into the Twittersphere was less successful.

He is currently developing and marketing 2,000 apartments in Sydney having spent more than $300 million in the past 18 months on development sites.

His first project dates back to 1963 when as a clerk, he built his first block of units in the Sydney suburb of Tempe.

May 2013 – Lane Cove

Harry spends $39 million on a North Shore Sydney service station with plans to build a $300 million residential tower development featuring 440 apartments. The 150 Epping Road site in Lane Cove is acquired from Bob Rose’s Rose Group, which received development approval for the site in August last year.

February 2013 - Mascot

Harry acquires a 31,500 square metre industrial site for $100 million from industrial landlord Goodman Group. The sale is confirmed by Goodman after Meriton leaks it to The Australian. He plans to build 1,000 apartments on the 19-33 Kent Road site near Sydney airport.

February 2013 – Olympic Park

Harry pays a reported $22 million plus to buy a 15,000 square metre site with plans for 300 apartments in Sydney’s Olympic Park. The site offers strong transport links, is a corporate hub with over 100 companies based around the sporting complex bringing in more than 10,000 employees every day.

October 2012 - Rosebery

Harry acquires a former industrial property in Rosebery in inner south-east Sydney with plans to build 200 apartments. Meriton pays $21 million for the site.

August 2012 - Waterloo

Harry purchases on McEvoy Street in Waterloo, with plans for 220 apartments.

July 2012 - Lewisham

Harry spends $48.5 million to buy the controversial Lewisham Estates development site which has amended potential for between 377 and 430 units. He boasts that he'd beaten Frasers Property, Toga, Crown Group and Ralan to win the tender. Charlie Demian of the Demian Group paid $8.5 million for the site in 2005.

March 2012 – North Ryde

Harry pays $25 million for a Macquarie Park development site in North Ryde, with plans for a $200 million apartment development covering 330 apartments. The site at 88 Talavera Road, across the road from the Macquarie Shopping Centre and close to Macquarie University, was acquired from property developer St Hilliers, whose construction arm was placed in administration two months later (May 2012) St Hilliers had acquired it in 2007 for $23.5 million.

March 2012 - Chatswood

The biggest site acquired by Harry in 2012 is on Thomas Street in Chatswood on Sydney’s north shore, with approval for 547 apartments. Meriton pays $50 million for the Thomas Street car park with plans for two towers of 29 stories each, one of which will be retained by Meriton as serviced apartments – a growing part of the Meriton business.

December 2011 – North Sydney

Harry acquires a 922 square metre site for serviced apartments at 80 Arthur Street. The sales price is not disclosed. The vendor was the Medi-care Centre Foundation, which acquired the land and office building in 1988 for $14.1 million.

December 2011 – Zetland

Harry acquires a site at South Dowling Street with plans for 400 apartments and “excited by the prospect of further development in the Green Square precinct”. The initial design includes five buildings ranging in height from seven – 20 levels with 360-degree views. Meriton plan to provide a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments with a retail component strip.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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