Brady Group in partnership stoush with David Wu over 280 Queen Street

Brady Group in partnership stoush with David Wu over 280 Queen Street
Brady Group in partnership stoush with David Wu over 280 Queen Street

The Brady Group is in dispute with its minority partner property investor, Xue Bin Wu over the future of an unbuilt $300 million Melbourne apartment skyscraper.

The case is before the Victorian Supreme Court.

The Australian Financial Review described the dispute as "bitter."

The dispute is between Xue Bin Wu, also known as David Wu, and the Brady Group, led by Tony Brady over their proposed 68-level apartment tower at 280 Queen Street.

The 207-metre building comprises 533 apartments designed by Peddle Thorp Architects, with mostly one and two bedroom apartments, 23 penthouses and one custom designed penthouse.

The proposal attracted attention on its 2015 application when The Age described some of the apartments has not having enough space for basic activities.

The Age advised the plans had "angered" Melbourne City Council officials who found many of its then 589 planned units were undersized.

In a report to council, the planners noted "that many of the apartments are too small to allow for basic daily activities and functions such as eating at a dining table, or having a dressing table in the bedroom whilst maintaining access to the wardrobe."

Although there was praise for the inclusion of 46 three-bedroom apartments, the planners said most of these dwellings were less than 70 square metres

The Brady Group and David Wu formed a joint venture in 2014 to develop the property, with Brady taking a 67 percent stake.

Brady reportedly put up $23.785 million purchasing funds for the venture, according to an affidavit by Brady Group general manager Simon Pethica.

Under their agreement, it is alleged, both the partners were then to jointly approve and authorise development expenses and then work on a more detailed joint venture agreement.

"David has obstructed every reasonable attempt to finalise a more detailed joint venture agreement," the statement alleged.

"Without a detailed joint venture agreement, it is impossible to progress the development in a timely and commercially effective manner."

The statement alleges that Mr Wu has "unreasonably refused" to authorise a series of expenses incurred through the development process, including the reimbursement of a $25,300 fee paid by Brady Constructions to the Foreign Investment Review Board.

The failure to make those payments has stalled the development of the project, it is alleged.

The Brady Group has asked for a court order forcing Mr Wu to sell. Failing that, Brady seeks an order to wind up the joint venture.

Mr Wu, who also runs a real estate agency, has yet to file a defence.

In 2014 The Age initially reported the property had been purchased by Chinese national Xue Bin Wu.

It suggested Wu held a third portion of the holding company which lodged the plans for the site, suggesting an initial joint capital venture with Brady.

However a Brady Group spokesman told The Age in late 2014 that Mr Wu was no longer involved in the project. "It will be a Brady Group development," he said. "Work will start in about 12 months."

The Financial Review writes that as of October 2017 the fate of a $300 million Melbourne skyscraper hangs in the balance as under the conditions of its state government planning approval, work must begin on the project by June next year.

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