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Terrace site given a second run as a residential offering

THE long derelict Oakleigh building at 22 St Georges Terrace, Perth may soon have a second chance at being reborn as a residential tower.

Condor Projects, the developers of Manhattan Towers, are understood to have the site under conditional contract.

The 1960s office building, owned by Hong Kong investors Nan Lee Hu and Cheng Ngok Chou, almost changed hands in December 2001 when a Sydney-based syndicate fronted by Perth developer Alf Naude resolved to buy the site for about $9.5 million.

The group went as far as getting a development approval for a $50 million 24-level residential tower on the site, however, the sale fell through when, after several attempts, the syndicate was unable to raise the necessary funds.

Condor Projects director Lind-say Albonico confirmed that the development group was in long and extensive discussions relating to 22 St Georges Terrace and said a decision about the site was imminent.

Mr Albonico said the market had been led to believe that the Naude group deal had been done and the site was locked up.

“22 St Georges Terrace is the last of very substantial sites that can be developed up in the CBD,” he said.

“If the site came out to the open market there would be a great deal of interest in it.

“The vendor has had the site for a very long time and should be keen to sell if past dealings with previous syndicates has not made him gun-shy of the Perth market.”

Mr Albonico said while the 22 St Georges Terrace site presented logistical challenges and it would take at least a year to design a suitable residential scheme, the site had great potential.

“In terms of a site it is quite spectacular with views out to the river, the coast, the hills, South Perth and Fremantle,” he said.

The company plans to leverage off its multi-million-dollar Manhattan Towers development if it goes ahead with a residential development on the site. Its flag-ship development at 255 Adelaide Terrace has sold 48 of the 59 apartments housed in the eight-storey building. Like 22 St Georges Terrace the site was an old office building.

Mr Albonico said the market was still seeing good sales in the $195,000 to $225,000 range and was investor focused.

He said as a company Condor was not about supplying cheap apartments for the investment community but would look at developing high quality, value for money apartments to meet market demand.

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