31/01/2006 - 21:00

Pourzand keeps cards close

31/01/2006 - 21:00

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Pourzand keeps cards close

Hossean Pourzand has quietly become one of the CBD’s biggest individual office owners, preferr-ing to keep his business activities below the radar but acquiring assets over the years that would be valued at more than $84 million.

Mr Pourzand is a textbook investor – starting out with small investments and leveraging the equity to allow him to access larger assets.

 While he prefers to stay out of the spotlight, his better-known partner, Luke Saraceni, is the public spokesman for their joint venture projects, which go under the name Westgem Investments Pty Ltd.

One of Westgem’s assets is Raine Square, a prime development site the two men bought in 2004 for $21.5 million, and on which they plan to construct an office tower.

A development application was lodged late last year for a nine-storey, 30,000 square metre building, and Mr Saraceni has said that he expects construction to commence this year, although an anchor tenant has yet to be confirmed.

While Mr Pourzand and Mr Saraceni have several ventures together, Mr Pourzand also has significant holdings in his and his wife’s names.

With a significant presence on the CBD office scene since the late 1990s, Mr Pourzand closed last year with the substantial $30.8 million purchase of the Clough building at 251 St Georges Terrace, one of the top 10 commercial sales of the year.

After arriving in Australia from Iran, Mr Pourzand studied marketing at Curtin University during the late 1970s, while his homeland was the focus of international attention for an ongoing hostage crisis.

Mr Pourzand was first noted on the Perth business scene for the purchase of the Olive Tree restaurant with his wife in 1987, which they sold 12 years later.

From the restaurant business, Mr Pourzand moved into commercial and industrial property, developing several sites in conjunction with Mr Saraceni, including the Megamart site in Perth and the Murray Street Woolworths retail complex.

The Murray Street site was sold to Westralia Property Trust, and Mr Pourzand put his $11 million share of the sale price into the trust.

Subsequently, however, the tourism-asset-heavy trust has performed in less-than-stellar fashion, reporting a $5.7 million loss for the 2004-05 year.

It suspended distributions from June last year, drawing the criticism of Mr Pourzand.

WA Business News approached Mr Pourzand for an interview for this story, but he declined to be involved.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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