Hong Kong-listed Far East Consortium acquires ISPT’s Spencer Street site for $75 million

Melbourne-focused Asian development group Far East Consortium has acquired the remaining majority portion of the former headquarter of The Age at 250 Spencer Street for $75 million.

The site has approval for an $800 million six-tower apartment development.

The Property Development Group announced the acquisition in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange over the weekend, where it is listed.

The purchase is subject to Far East Consortium being granted approval by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

Far East Consortium is currently building the $1 billion Upper West Side project which features four residential towers of 2,600 apartments near The Age site. One tower is already completed with a second under construction.

The latest acquisition continues the trend of Asian-based property developers acquiring Melbourne CBD development sites for residential high-rises.

Current Asian projects in Melbourne include Hengyi Australia, the Australian arm of the mainland Chinese developer which is developing serviced apartments at The William at 199 William Street opposite the Supreme Court.

In December Malaysian developer Mammoth Empire secured a prime development opportunity on Elizabeth Street opposite a 55-storey residential tower it already has under construction.

Singapore developer Chip Eng Seng has received the go ahead for CEL Australia’s $170 million Tower Melbourne which will boast 555 apartments (and townhouses) across 71 storeys.

The 11,750 square metres portion of the 15,200 square metres site (nearly a whole city block)  acquired by Far East Consortium was put up for sale by ISPT last month with expectations of between $70 million and $80 million.

The smaller eastern portion of the site was sold to Melbourne apartment developer Central Equity for $17 million in 2010.

Far East Consortium has completed around a dozen projects over the past 20 years.

ISPT acquired the site for $66 million in 2007.

Colliers International agent Tim Storey negotiated the ­off-market campaign.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer


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