Chinese developer circles Goulburn St tower

The Chinese group wants to expand its range of activities locally.
The Chinese group wants to expand its range of activities locally.

Chinese property developer Poly Global is circling a new site in the Sydney CBD with the company in pole position to buy a Goulburn St office tower for about $260 million.

The company is targeting the purchase of 59 Goulburn St that was quietly put on the block by Fortius Funds Management via real estate agencies JLL and Colliers International.

If Poly emerges as the buyer, it could look to reposition the building as part of a value add play as the southern end of the city is transforming, partly due to the new light rail, and a planned tech hub around Central station.

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The Chinese group has been one of the most active developers this year and has partly shifted its focus towards office buildings after initially undertaking apartment projects.

It is still active in residential and mixed use developments and recently looked at buying Yuhu Group’s Eastwood shopping centre in Ryde, before pulling back from that deal.

Poly declined to comment on the particular property, but says in a statement it will “continue to seek high quality real estate assets for acquisition in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to facilitate growth of their Australian offices”.

Active in residential and mixed-use developments

“Poly’s focus is residential, mixed-use and commercial development in premium locations as well as areas that have been identified for future growth by planning authorities,” the statement says.

Poly is still active and this year won approval for more than $260 million of residential projects, including the Bankstown RSL redevelopment and Stanley Street Kogarah project.

The Chinese group has also been touted as shifting into providing real estate debt in a sign of its desire to expand its range of activities locally. But offices have emerged as a focus.

The company is looking to establish itself more as a serious market player and has enticed listed property firm GPT Group to consider taking a stake in its proposed $50o millionPoly Center near Sydney’s Circular Quay.

It has also been in talks with department store chain Myer as a potential anchor tenant for a new purpose-built headquarters in Melbourne’s Docklands district. It has also assembled a site in Melbourne’s hot Richmond district.

The new Sydney deal also displays the rise in office values. Fortius had picked up the block in Sydney’s Goulburn St complex from Singaporean developer Roxy-Pacific Holdings for $158 million in July 2017.

But there is also the possibility a mixed-use project could be undertaken in future.

The 23-level office tower sits opposite the World Square precinct and carries approval for redevelopment into a 38-storey tower with 407 hotel suites and 90 residential units, and associated retail and office spaces.

Two years ago the property almost sold to a consortium consisting of Chinese-backed i-Prosperity Group, local developer Toga and Singapore’s Far East Organization. The deal, that included buying an adjacent site and amalgamating the sites, did not go ahead.

Fortius owns the building with the backing of Singapore-based SC Capital Partners Group.

Fortius and the agents could not be contacted at the time of publication.

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