Hong Kong buyers zero in on St Kilda Rd offices

The office building at 420 St Kilda Rd in Melbourne.

Hong Kong investors are the latest property players to emerge as major investors on Melbourne’s leafy St Kilda Road precinct with a pair of buildings worth about $170 million being targeted by a single buyer.

The group, operating through trust structures controlled by Mars Family Holdings, has already swooped on one tower, securing No 420 from funds manager Vanguard Property Investments for about $98 million.

While it is yet to settle, caveats lodged show a Mars-linked company — ultimately associated with Hong Kong’s Mai family — has snared the site.

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Industry players suggested the same group was also buying the neighbouring property at 424-426 St Kilda Rd.

That property is being sold by Chinese-backed developer Wood­link, which had once proposed the $360 million Illoura House apartment project on the site.

CBRE’s Mark Wizel, Lewis Tong and Josh Rutman are handling the sale but declined to comment.

Chinese groups already have a presence on the Melbourne boulevard. Last year, property tycoon John Beville sold an office block on St Kilda Road for $163m to Chinese investor Da Xie. Ownership of the site at 509 St Kilda Road has since transferred to Chinese provincial developer Runjiang Investment Group.

Other sales in the area have reflected high values, with Sydney-based Marprop buying the office block at 541 St Kilda Road from fund manager Bayley Stuart for close to $65 million last December.

Other recent buyers on the boule­vard were Abacus Property and Wing Tai Holdings.

This article originally appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au/property.