Hengmao exit Maribyrnong project

4 April 2022

Chinese developer Hengmao has divested its Maribyrnong site at 19-21 White Street, in line with continued demand for permit-approved sites.

The 4,940 square metre site in Melbourne’s inner-west was snapped up by a Sydney-based developer for an undisclosed price. It has an existing permit and approved plans for a 12-level mixed-use project designed by architects Elenberg Fraser featuring 280 apartments plus retail.

Savills agents Benson Zhou, Julian Heatherich, Nick Garoni and Tanya Su brokered the sale. The agents are unable to disclose the price, but industry sources indicate it would achieve around $20 million.

Savills director Benson Zhou said the campaign generated a high level of enquiry with multiple offers in a battle between residential developers and emerging build-to-rent groups.

“An undisclosed Sydney developer ultimately out paid offshore groups and local BTR operators to secure the site and plans to deliver and sell the project in the coming years” said Mr Zhou.

“The strong interest in this site is a clear indicator of confidence returning to the suburban residential market, buoyed by continued migration and house price growth.”

According to Savills, there is an emerging trend for Sydney-based developers securing sites in Melbourne as a comparatively undervalued environment.

“Recently we have transacted sites to Sydney buyers for land subdivision, suburban apartments, luxury residential and office” said Julian Heatherich.

“The rise of BTR projects across Melbourne, which is now the leading BTR demand in Australia, is adding depth to the market for large scale permit approved projects,” he noted.