Probuild Wins $2 Billion West Side Place Contract

Construction giant Probuild has won the design and construct contract for Melbourne’s $2 billion West Side Place apartment project and Ritz Carlton Hotel.

International developer Far East Consortium is set to transform the former The Age newspaper site at 250 Spencer Street, into Victoria’s largest residential development. The developer has so far recorded over $700 million in pre-sales for towers one and two.

West Side Place is Probuild’s largest construction contract in its history.

The first stage of the development will house 1376 apartments over two towers, as well as the tallest hotel in the southern hemisphere — Melbourne’s first Ritz-Carlton hotel at 270m high.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Far East Consortium to deliver West Side Place. This contract is the largest secured by Probuild in our 30-year history and we can’t wait to bring this iconic project to life,” Probuild’s Victorian managing director, Luke Stambolis said.

“Our team in WA is currently delivering one of Perth’s most significant developments with the Ritz Carlton at Elizabeth Quay, and Far East’s willingness to enter another major project together is a testament to the relationship that’s been built between Probuild and Far East Consortium.

“We’ve worked really hard to ensure the service a client receives in one state mirrors another. Our skills and expertise are mobile, and our Victorian team has been providing significant support to The Elizabeth Quay redevelopment.

“This Victorian project is one of unprecedented scale and ambition, not just for Probuild but for Melbourne. West Side Place will be an exemplary project for generations to come.”

Probuild has recently commenced construction on Sydney’s tallest residential tower, the Greenland Centre.

The 263-room Ritz-Carlton hotel will be located in tower one of the four tower development. The smallest of the four towers will be 62-storeys, ranging up to 81.

On the residential side, West Side Place will feature a range of 1 and 2-bedroom apartments and carefully designed amenities totalling more than 4,500 square metres. Amenities include pools, a gym, cinema, karaoke rooms, catering kitchen, boardroom, business centre, study pods, library, a private wine bar, sauna and steam room.

Probuild will commence preparatory works on West Side Place immediately, with construction anticipated to commence in November this year. West Side Place is scheduled for completion in 2022.


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Future Brisbane: Queen’s Wharf project wins six-star green rating

THE design for Brisbane’s new Queen’s Wharf precinct has earned it the city’s first 6 Star Green Star Communities rating.

The $3 billion integrated resort development, due for completion in 2022, was granted the coveted rating based on social, environmental and economic sustainability outcomes.

The Green Building Council of Australia praised the livability of the precinct, recognising the commitment to public areas and green space for outdoor events, arts and culture, and encouraging healthy and active lifestyle options.

“This 6 Star Green Star rating represents world leadership in masterplanned communities,” GBCA chief executive officer Romilly Madew said.

“The environmental objectives are impressive, and include sustainable buildings that suit Brisbane’s sub-tropical climate, a central energy plant to reduce reliance on non-renewable energy sources and the revegetation of existing mangroves along the river front.

“But equally impressive are the initiatives designed to build great places for people. Queen’s Wharf Brisbane will be designed to inspire healthy and active living, to encourage economic prosperity and to foster social inclusion,” Ms Madew said.

Destination Brisbane Consortium project director Simon Crooks said the developer was very proud of the rating.

“It acknowledges our efforts to ensure we have designed a new CBD precinct in a way that understands and supports how people want to live,’’ he said.

It had also taken into account the scale of the development’s footprint — “like nothing our city has seen before’’ — and how it connected to the rest of the city centre.

Mr Crooks said the rating had been achieved through investing in community infrastructure, such as the new Neville Bonner Pedestrian Bridge linking Queen’s Wharf to South Bank and the arts and cultural precinct.

Upgraded bikeways and walkways, including a new mangrove boardwalk with indigenous trail, were included in the assessment.

The Green Building Council of Australia rates developments across five categories: governance, livability, economic prosperity, environment and innovation.

A public submissions period on the overall development plan for Queen’s Wharf opened yesterday and will run for six weeks.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said: “I want people from across the state to have a say on Queen’s Wharf, because it is a project that is truly going to shape and transform our city.

“But this development will always be balanced by what the people want in our vibrant city, and this is your opportunity to have your say on our future.”

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The $850m Star Gold Coast transforming Broadbeach

The new $400 million, 700-key hotel and apartment tower at The Star Gold Coast. The tower is part of an overall planned investment of $850 million to expand the Broadbeach property (formerly known as Jupiters). Photo: Supplied

The new $400 million, 700-key hotel and apartment tower at The Star Gold Coast is getting closer to fruition and sales of the apartments are due to start in the coming weeks.

It comes as more hotels and resorts are planned across the country to cater for increasing inbound tourism.

According to CBRE’s ViewPoint report, the forecasted increase in visits by Chinese tourists is expected to rise to 3.2 million annually by 2025.

The national director of CBRE Hotels, Wayne Bunz, said while strong supply growth in Brisbane and Perth had previously placed downward pressure on room rates, if tourism volumes continued to increase both cities would be in the position to absorb the forecast influx of visitors.

“Despite the 60 per cent surge in tourist volumes, the research signals an increase will instead provide a relief valve for the hotels sector due to the current hotels supply boom. Australia’s less heralded markets such as Brisbane and Perth, in particular, are expected to be key beneficiaries of the increase” the CBRE report says.

The Star tower is part of an overall planned investment of $850 million to expand the Broadbeach property, formerly known as Jupiters. It has been renamed to be consistent with The Star in Sydney, which is also developing a new Ritz-Carlton hotel adjoining the existing property. Both will open before the planned Crown resort at Barangaroo, Sydney.

A new six-star, 17-storey luxury hotel tower is under construction at the front of the The Star Gold Coast and will also be completed before the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, which start next April.

The transformation will see The Star Gold Coast feature about 1400 premium hotel rooms and residences, more than 20 food and beverage offerings, new resort facilities, signature gaming facilities and retail outlets. The apartments will be known as The Star Residence.

Subject to pre-sales, preparatory works for the new 700-key complex are expected to start within the next 12 months. The tower is expected to be completed in 2021, after the completion of all other transformation works in progress at The Star Gold Coast – these include significant upgrades to food and beverage offerings.

The development comes as AMP Capital’s Pacific Fair shopping centre opposite The Star has also been upgraded.

The development will be undertaken by the Destination Gold Coast Consortium – a joint venture between The Star Entertainment Group and its Hong Kong-based partners Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium.

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Far East - Queens Wharf

Destination Brisbane Has Submitted a Masterplan for the Largest Development Application in Queensland History

Blink and you’ll miss it. That’s how quickly Brisbane seems to be changing right now. Every month a new precinct or development is completed and opened, subtly remoulding the city skyline.

Still, Queen’s Wharf is unique. Late last month, Destination Brisbane Consortium submitted a masterplan to the Queensland government for the largest development application in the state’s history.

It’s an eye-watering document to say the least. Forty separate reports and thousands of pages of designs addressing a 27-hectare parcel of riverside real estate at the southern end of the city. “The area sits across from South Bank, the cultural centre of our city, but has been completely under-utilised until now,” says Geoff Hogg, the Queensland managing director of the Star Entertainment Group, one of the consortium’s members.

Having already commenced construction in January of this year, the Queen’s Wharf development will have cost an estimated $3 billion by its completion in 2024. Adding more than 56,000 people a day to the city, it will completely re-arrange the CBD between Alice and Elizabeth streets. “The site will take over 10 per cent of the current CBD, which is substantial,” Hogg says. “The CBD, wrapped around the river, is small. Queen’s Wharf will take over key components of the city, as is.”

The site will include 2000 apartments, six hotels, a riverside terrace, a pedestrian bridge across the river to South Bank and a Marina Bay Sands-style, 100-metre-high sky deck with views across the river and city.

But the plan also calls for the restoration of some of Brisbane’s oldest and most valuable buildings. Notably, the Treasury Casino will get a complete makeover before being handed to the Ritz-Carlton chain to create a hotel and high-end boutique retail centre. This is one of the components “belonging to the second stage of development,” Hogg says. “It opens to the public in 2024.”

Hogg says “90 per cent” of the planned construction will be open to the public, with more than 50 new restaurants, bars and cafes, and gaming facilities to replace the Treasury Casino. There will be acres of shaded laneways, riverfront gardens and sub-tropical landscape all built into the space.

But Hogg reckons Queen’s Wharf isn’t a project taking place in isolation. “It’s significant as part of Brisbane’s evolution right now,” he says. “Brisbane has a lot of change going on. The city is getting another cruise terminal as well as another runway at the airport, meaning it will have the same capacity as airports like Hong Kong and Singapore.

“So it’s this evolution taking place, of which Queen’s Wharf is a part, that will help to put Brisbane on the map as a global city.”


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West Side Place Gold Release

Standing proudly at Ritz-Carlton precinct on Lonsdale Street, West Side Place Gold Release will provide one and two bedroom apartments with sweeping view of Melbourne CBD. Gold Release has launched on 3rd June 2017. Don’t miss this opportunity in Melbourne’s fastest selling precinct.

Register your interest to arrange a private appointment at our display suite.

 Explore more about The Gold Release at


Far East Consortium Selected to Develop Perth City Link Sites in Australia 

Far East Consortium International Limited (“FEC” or the “Group”; SEHK: 35) is  pleased to announce that the Group has been selected as the  preferred  proponent to develop  Lots 3B,  6 and 7 of the Perth City Link in Western Australia. These three lots will be home to a range of boutique  apartments and an integrated retail, entertainment and hospitality complex.

The  Perth  City  Link  is  a major  project  being  undertaken  by  the Western  Australian  Government  (“the Government”) to reconnect the Perth CBD and the entertainment district (Northbridge) for the first time  in more  than 100 years. The Government has invested more  than A$1.4billion in  the project  to deliver  world‐class transport infrastructure and create one of Australia’s most unique transit‐oriented developments.

FEC will organise a design competition among emerging international and national architects to ensure  an exemplary design that offers an appealing residential product for the Perth market and one that com‐ plements the adjacent Dorsett Hotel and residential complex. In late 2016, FEC was selected to develop  Lots 2 and 3A at the Perth City Link for an A$219million development comprising the 250‐room Dorsett  Hotel and 350 apartments.

Mr. Chris Hoong, Managing Director of FEC, said: “We are proud  that since commencing operations in  Australia in the early 1990’s the Group has completed over $2billion worth of projects. Perth City Link is a  major project undertaking for us in Perth and it is indeed a great honour for FEC to be selected.  Another  FEC project, The Towers at Elizabeth Quay in Perth, is currently under construction and will result in the  205‐room, 5‐star Ritz‐Carlton Hotel as well as 379 residential apartments. To be selected as the develop‐ er of the Perth City Link sites is a great progress for FEC in Western Australia. Together with the two lots  that FEC won in late 2016, Perth City Link project will provide our Group with a good pipeline in Perth  CBD for the years to come.”

Mr. David Chiu, Chairman of FEC, added: “Perth is a beautiful city and we are very optimistic about its  future prospects. The Perth City Link will truly redefine the city due to its design aiming to create transit‐ oriented developments.  Following the completion of the CBD projects, we are confident that Perth will  become an even more important destination. For this reason, we look forward to working with the local  government to provide more attractive options for local residents and travellers to Western Australia.”


Far East Consortium media release

FEC and its Consortium Partners Completed Acquisition of Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort at the Gold Coast

Far East Consortium International Limited (“FEC” or the “Group”; SEHK: 35) is pleased to announce that it has completed the acquisition of the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort at the Gold Coast, Australia, together with its pre-eminent international partners, The Star Entertainment Group Limited and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited.

The acquisition is financed by a combination of bank loan and equity from the respective partners. The Group’s equity contribution for the acquisition is approximately A$20m, and the Group will have 25% interest in the joint venture. Sheraton Grand Mirage is an iconic property, which is the Gold Coast’s only 5-star beachfront resort. The property facilities include 295 rooms and suites, a swimming pool, fitness centre, spa facilities and surrounding beach.

Mr. Chris HOONG, Managing Director of FEC, comments on the acquisition, “We are very excited about the tremendous opportunity in the tourism sector in Australia. Sheraton Grand Mirage in Gold Coast is a unique hotel property that offers not only existing cash flow stream but also potential development opportunity. The beachfront property is highly complementary to the Queen’s Wharf Project in Brisbane and will add operating capacity to the Group’s current portfolio of hotel property immediately.”

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Queens Wharf apartments tower to rival Brisbane’s tallest

An apartment tower to rival Brisbane’s tallest will be constructed in the first stage of the city’s $3 billion Queens Wharf casino-resort ­development.

Industry sources said the 90-storey tower is expected to equal Brisbane’s highest at 274m, the city’s height limit imposed by aviation authorities.

A spokesman for the international joint venture delivering the development, Destination Brisbane Consortium, declined to comment on the apartment tower, saying it would lodge the plan of development for the transformational integrated resort to Economic Development Queensland in coming months.

“This plan will contain specific design details,” he said.

The project’s three apartment towers, totalling 2000 units, will be developed in a 50-50 partnership between Hong Kong-listed Far East Consortium and Chow Tai Fook. The entire development including the purpose-built casino is structured under a 25 per cent split for the China-based companies and a 50 per cent stake from The Star.

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In an interim report to the Hong Kong stock exchange, Far East Consortium said its initial ­equity investment was $193 million. Together with its portion of the “land premium” for the residential component, Far East expects to pay $226m.

The Australian this week revealed that the consortium had to revise plans for the pedestrian bridge link to popular South Bank late last year, when authorities ­realised it landed on the level of the casino’s gaming floor, about four floors above ground. It will now arrive one level lower, on a retail level of the podium.

It is understood the 4m-wide bridge is costed into the development as a $100m-plus contribution. It is to be named Neville Bonner Bridge after Australia’s first indigenous parliamentarian.

The development will include the new casino, underground shopping mall, 50 restaurants, five international hotels, three residential towers and the redevelopment of heritage buildings across 9.4ha of riverfront land.

The development will also ­create parklands underneath the Riverside Expressway and jut out into the Brisbane river.

The staged “brick by brick” demolition of three former government buildings will start within months. This includes the 1999 Australian Institute of Architects’ award-winning Neville Bonner Building and the Conrad Gargett-designed Executive Building.

The first stage — building the casino and hotel components — has to be complete by 2022 to comply with the state government contract. The multi-stage residential offering that will span 167,000sq m of gross floor area can be delivered until 2035.

The total development area is about 544,600sq m, including the residential area. It is expected to bring an additional 1.39 million visitors to Brisbane annually.

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Putting on the Ritz-Carlton: The Star heralds return of luxury hotel

The Sydney skyline is set to be transformed with the development of the new $500 million Ritz-Carlton hotel, including apartments and an updated restaurant strip at Pyrmont, as part of the Star Entertainment group’s renovation of the city’s main casino as it prepares to take on James Packer’s Crown resort at Barangaroo.

The proposed “six star” 220-room hotel and 150 residences will be built on the corner of Pirrama and Jones Bay roads and are in addition to the $500 million works already under way at the Star, including the refurbishment of rooms at the Astral Tower and Residences, the opening of the Harvest Buffet restaurant, work on the arrivals area, and an upgrade of internal spaces, including VIP facilities.

Architects FJMT have been selected to design the proposed hotel and residential tower at The Star which will herald the return of The Ritz-Carlton to the Harbour City.

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A design excellence competition, overseen by a panel of industry experts, featured submissions from three major architectural firms with FJMT confirmed as the winner after detailed analysis and consideration of community and stakeholder feedback.

The Star Entertainment Group and its partners in the proposed development, Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium, will now work with FJMT on finalising a design for lodgement with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

The local community will continue to be engaged on the project as the design progresses.

The Department of Planning and Environment will be inviting public submissions on the final design when it is submitted for consideration and approval under the usual planning processes.

Star Entertainment group’s Managing Director Matt Bekier said they expect to submit the final design to the Department mid-2017.

“We’re delighted this process has us on the path to delivering Sydney another world-class luxury hotel, and enhancing the city’s appeal to domestic and international tourists,” Mr Bekier said.

“The tower and the associated developments will see the return to Sydney of The Ritz-Carlton, our room inventory at The Star increase to around 1000, and more than 20 food and beverage venues across a broad range of price points added to existing offerings.”

It comes as the group is undertaking a $345 million upgrade of its Jupiters Hotel and Casino at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast as the city prepares to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The plans also coincide with the opening, on December 10, of the new International Convention Centre (ICC) at nearby Darling Harbour.

FJMT design director Richard Francis-Jones said the firm was “delighted to emerge as the preferred architect”.

“This is a very significant project for Sydney and Pyrmont that will figure the Harbour skyline and enhance the local streets and public domain,” Mr Francis-Jones said.

“Our vision is for a beautifully sculpted architecture, that will seem to grow from the great sandstone of Pyrmont.

“It will be a unique tower, shaped organically in relation to the local environment and character. The form and profile adjusts progressively to preserve sun access into public space, mitigate wind effects, and to share views and amenity with neighbours.

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Developer tests Melbourne apartment appetite with $2bn project launch

Hong Kong development giant Far East Consortium will test appetite for Melbourne CBD apartments with the launch this weekend of its $2 billion West Side Place high-rise project on the site of the former The Age building.

The launch – one of the biggest apartment projects in Melbourne’s history – comes less than two months before Victoria doubles the stamp duty surcharge on foreign buyers of real estate from 3 to 7 per cent and raises the tax surcharge on absentee foreign owners from 0.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent.

Other headwinds facing apartment developers are the pullback by the major banks from lending to foreign investors, predictions of an oversupply of apartments in inner Melbourne and falling apartment values, with the AFR reporting recently that some new apartments were being re-sold 30 per cent below their off-the-plan purchase price.

Designed by Cottee Parker Architects, West Side Place will feature four high-rise towers with 2500 apartments in total as well as a 263 room Ritz-Carlton Hotel at the top of 79-level Tower One. FEC paid $75 million for the 250 Spencer Street site when it bought it from ISPT in 2013.


The huge project is being marketed by Colliers International. The agents also marketed FEC’s neighbouring $1.4 billion Upper West Side multiple-tower project with 2200 apartments, which is nearing completion.

Craig Williams, FEC Australia’s executive director, declined to comment on current market conditions. However, in a recent statement, he said settlement success at Upper West Side, where FEC has sold 1566 apartments “indicated the continued strength of the local high-rise apartment market, despite reports that developments are overvalued and underpinned by poor settlement rates”.

“When we launched Upper West Side in 2010 there was talk of oversupply in the market and many people suggested we would never even achieve the required presales to commence construction,” Mr Williams said.

“Fast forward five years, there is still talk of oversupply and yet we have settled all apartments across the first three towers and the project is sitting at 100 percent occupied,” he said.

Hong Kong-listed FEC has a $7 billion pipeline of projects in Australia includes the redevelopment of Queens Wharf in Brisbane and The Towers at Elizabeth Quay in Perth, both of which will include a Ritz-Carlton Hotel to be operated by Marriott. It also owns hotels and car parks.

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