Hailiang Property Group is confident it will deliver its $700 million-plus Sydney Park flagship project to market as it works through final approvals for the 390-apartment development with council.
The developer sold 40 of 98 apartments as part of the first stage market launch, setting an Alexandria record with a $3 million off-the-plan sale, then pressing pause to ride out the downturn.
HPG will launch again to market as the correction brings prices back in line with the 2017 peak, with an early to mid-2020 launch date pencilled in.
The developer is backed by Chinese multinational copper mining giant Hailiang Group, which controls five companies listed on the Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong stock exchanges.
HPG’s deep-pocketed property arm first entered the Australian market in 2014, picking up a 4,000sq m Campsie site near the Canterbury Hospital.
The prized 2.1-hectare former industrial Erskineville site was purchased without debt from the Goodman Group in 2015, winning first stage concept envelope approvals for eight 4 to 6-storey mixed-use buildings in 2017.
Development director Barney Oros said that HPG is committed to delivering the project, despite rumours the developer had been caught up in Beijing’s capital outflow controls and was looking to offload the site.
“Developers are always being approached by others, especially in a downturn and especially when you have such a unique site,” Oros said.
“We are committed to delivering One Sydney Park. [It] has our complete focus.”
The $230 million-odd development cost will also be funded without debt, allowing the developer to hold off on sales as it works through the second stage development application—further complicated by the government’s WestConnex motorway construction, which borders the project site to the east.
“Developers that have little or no bank debt are always better placed than others to hold onto their valuable assets and ride through a trough,” Oros said.
Silvester Fuller and MNHDU were selected from council’s competitive design process to spearhead the architectural design of the site, proposing a heavily-landscaped 41,423sq m residential scheme.
“Our brief was to hide 400 apartments,” Silvester Fuller partner Penny Fuller said.
“It is the only development in the park and the council really didn’t want to see any building there at all.”
The mixed-use project sits within the 42-hectare Sydney Park—the largest park owned by the City of Sydney—and is located midway between Sydney’s CBD and its airport.
The 390 apartment mix comprises studio and 1-bedroom apartments up to 4-bedroom parkside townhouses with an added 1,648sq m of commercial space and 500sq m of public amenity.
“We have taken council’s feedback seriously, updating our DA to address council’s concerns and to provide an exemplar for development within a park,” Oros said.
Pending development approvals, HPG is eyeing a second half of 2020 construction commencement date.
“We would like to ensure our DA is on track and the rebound is sustainable before any further launches.”