KUALA LUMPUR: Eco World International Berhad (EcoWorld International) announced today that it had secured access to a prime development land situated 12 kilometres northwest of Sydney’s central business district with plans to develop an AUD139 million Gross Development Value (GDV) project there.
The project site is situated at 1-3 Lachlan Avenue, Macquarie Park, Sydney adjacent to Macquarie University in the Macquarie University Precinct. This locale is home to one of Australia’s top 10 universities and top two percent (2%) universities in the world that attracts thousands of international students annually. It is also strategically positioned within close proximity to the Macquarie Innovation Park District (“MIPD”), Macquarie University Train Station and Macquarie Shopping Centre.
MIPD is Sydney’s second largest business district and one of the largest business and technology precincts in the Southern Hemisphere. It is also one of Sydney’s most important employment centres which hosts major global players across the pharmaceutical, technology, electronics and telecommunications industries like Fujitsu, Canon, 3M, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble and Johnson and Johnson, to name a few.
“We are delighted to be able to add the Macquarie Park site, which is situated in a fast-growing location extremely popular with Sydney-siders, to our growing project portfolio in Australia. Our decision to focus on serving the needs of the domestic property market began with the acquisition of the Yarra One site in South Yarra, Melbourne. This was followed by our recent entry into the Heads of Agreement with Willmott Dixon to potentially acquire 12 projects in the UK. The announcement today is therefore in line with our overall strategy to localise our brand wherever we operate,” said Dato Teow Leong Seng, President and CEO of EcoWorld International.
At present there is an existing building located on the project site with 30 en-bloc apartment units. Under the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 (Australia), 75% of unit owners in a strata scheme can agree to end their strata scheme, so the site can be redeveloped or sold.
EcoWorld International has entered into a call and put option agreement with owners of 25 of the apartment units to acquire these units by way of a collective sale. This represents approximately 84.2% of the strata scheme which enables EcoWorld International to proceed with the acquisition of all the apartment units through a strata renewal process under the Act.
The estimated purchase price to acquire the entire site is approximately AUD40 million and the proposed acquisition is expected to be completed by November 2018.
EcoWorld International plans to develop 125 units of residential apartments with a small component of retail. The total estimated GDV of the project is AUD139 million and it is targeted to be launched in the first half of 2019 and completed over 3 – 4 years from the date of launch.
Funding for the proposed acquisition of the Sydney project is expected to come from a combination of the proceeds of EcoWorld International’s recent IPO and bank borrowings / other debt instruments.