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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Winning bid to redevelop Brisbane’s Queen’s Wharf

The heritage-listed Treasury Casino will be transformed into a high-end department store as part of Destination Brisbane’s winning bid to redevelop Brisbane’s Queens Wharf precinct.

The consortium, made up of Echo Entertainment Group, Far East Consortium and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, was announced as the bid winner on Monday afternoon by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

She said an independent panel assessed the Echo bid, and the rival proposal by James Packer’s Crown Resorts.

“One of the signature efforts was this large amount of public space that families will be able to enjoy, plus the probity checks, as well as the consortium was able to demonstrate to government that they are ready to proceed. We needed to have that financial security,” she said.

The plans also include:

• The Arc building
• A feature Sky Deck, with restaurants and bars fully accessible to the public
• Five new premium hotel brands
• Fifty restaurants and bars
• Dozens of unique attractions, including a water and light show, playing several times each night in the new River Arena
• A new lyric theatre at QPAC
• Riverfront moonlight cinema
• 12 football fields of public event space

State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the project would be “transformational for Brisbane”.

“It’ll do what South Bank did for Brisbane 30 years ago,” he said.

“The Destination Brisbane/Echo consortium provides open space for 26,000 people.

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Elizabeth Quay takes shape

Located at the foot of the central business district, Elizabeth Quay will reconnect the city with the Swan River and provide much needed hotel, commercial, residential and retail accommodation, set around a stunning 2.7ha inlet and surrounded by high quality public spaces.


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Queens Wharf

Queen’s Wharf Brisbane presents a significant opportunity to create a world-class integrated resort development in an integral part of the Brisbane city centre.

Queen’s Wharf Brisbane will be the hub that connects the defining parts of the city – the Botanic Gardens, the Queen Street Mall, the Cultural Precinct, South Bank, the Parliamentary Precinct and the Brisbane River.

On Monday 22 December 2014 the final two proponents, Destination Brisbane Consortium (Echo Entertainment Group, Far East Consortium (Australia) and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises) and Greenland Holding Group Company along with Crown Resorts with the preferred proponent expected to be announced in 2015.

Destination Brisbane Consortium plans include the
· The iconic signature “Arc” building
· A spectacular feature Sky Deck, with restaurants and bars fully accessible to the publi0063
· Five new premium hotel brands, three 6-star venues, including Ritz-Carlton and Rosewood
· Fifty restaurants and bars, from hatted fine dining to pop-up cafes
· Dozens of unique attractions, including a spectacular water and light show, playing several times each night in the new “River Arena”
· A new lyric theatre at QPAC
· Riverfront moonlight cinema
· 12 football fields of public event space



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