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Hengyi Lodges Plans for $160m Retirement Village

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Chinese-backed high-rise developer Hengyi has lodged plans for a $160 million retirement community at the historic Beachleigh Estate hospital site on the Mornington Peninsula.

Hengyi, which picked up the 3.4-hectare property at 33 Jacksons Road for $17 million in mid-2019, will now press forward with plans for 105 low-density dwellings across eight buildings.

The sprawling property, home to a former 1930s polio hospital complex, overlooks Canadian Bay at Mount Eliza.

The existing buildings on site, which have been granted heritage overlay, will be retained and restored as part of the proposal.

The developer has engaged heritage experts Lovell Chen to advise on the heritage works, while VIA Architects and landscape architects Tract have been engaged to design the new buildings on site.

The new development, to be known as Beachleigh, will also include a wellness centre, gym, library, cinema, restaurant, bar and lounge, indoor heated pool, spa and on-site concierge service.

As part of the proposal, more than 200m of waterfront will be regenerated and integrated into the community for public activation, while the historic chapel building will be converted into a public cafe and providore.

Hengyi lodges plans for luxury retirement community in Mt Eliza
▲ The historic site features a 19th century residence and two additional buildings–built as part of a private estate in 1878 but transformed into a hospital and later, an aged care facility. Image: Supplied


The estate was initially offered to the market by Peninsula Health and Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services in 2017 but the selling campaign was halted after a prospective buyer applied to demolish the hospital.

Hengyi Pacific general manager Simon Manley said the proposal is part of a strategic diversification strategy for the developer.

“We are known for our ability to transform complex development sites and that has served us well for our high-density projects.

“We are now keen to apply this expertise to a number of different asset classes and broaden our portfolio with a number of low- to medium-density and luxury-style developments.”

Hengyi, which is the Melbourne arm of Shandong HYI Group—a powerful player in China’s Shandong province—has had a significant foothold in high-rise development and residential projects across the Melbourne CBD.

The developer’s completed projects include the 69-level Lighthouse apartments and The William hotel and apartments in the Melbourne CBD.

The developer is in the final stages of completing its 72-storey Swanston Central development in the Melbourne CBD with more than 1,000 apartments, and also recently launched its 31 Coventry Street project earlier this year.

The $100 million 21-storey development in Melbourne’s Domain precinct is set to feature 28 half- and whole-floor penthouse-size residences across the tower.

The company is also developing the Pacifica, New Zealand’s highest residential tower in Auckland.

Hengyi assets unfrozen

Earlier this month, The Federal Court dismissed an order that froze more than $103 million in assets belonging to Min Wang, Hengyi’s managing director.

The Australian Taxation Office was granted the freezing order by Justice Jennifer Davies in October last year after it issued Wang’s companies with a tax assessment totalling $103 million for 2015 and 2016.

The court-ordered freeze, made October 30, was amended on November 22 and amended again on June 29 and July 20 before proceedings were dismissed.

No order of costs have been made against Wang or the five companies listed as respondents in the case.

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Article originally posted at: https://theurbandeveloper.com/articles/hengyi-retirement-village-mornington-peninsula