Waldorf Group to move on unfinished business

PERTH’S biggest apartment development, the $300 million Mounts Bay Village complex, may finally be completed after the turmoil following the collapse of HIH in 2001.

Three years after the completion of the other three apartment buildings on site, eastern States-based Waldorf Apartment Group has bought the fourth and final (incomplete) development in the Mounts Bay Village complex from HIH Insurance group subsidiary, United Body Works.

Waldorf Apartment Group, which also manages Mounts Bay Waters Apartment Hotel and Perth Serviced Apartments, is planning to develop a multi-million dollar apartment tower housing 22 residential apartments on the site.

Former managing director of FAI Property Services, Avi Rubinstein is behind the development venture in his current role as head of the Waldorf Apartment Group.

FAI Property Services was the builder for the original project.

Mr Rubinstein would not comment on his development plans other than to say it was important to him to see the development completed.

The Mounts Bay Village project was originally touted as Perth’s biggest residential, hotel and commercial development but the project has suffered a string of setbacks.

United Body Works commenced construction on Mounts Bay Village, located on the western end of the old Emu Brewery site, in 1996.

The HIH collapse stopped work on the project, and the development’s financier, St George Bank, moved to appoint separate receiver-managers to protect its secured exposure, appointing Steve Parbery and Simon Read from the PPB Group as receivers.

With FAI Property Services an HIH subsidiary, the project was dealt a double blow.

PPB allowed work to go ahead on the three unfinished buildings, two of which were less than a month away from completion, however development of the fourth building was not restarted.

Former FAI WA manager of property services, and project manager for Mounts Bay Village, now principal of MBW Real Estate, John Tognolini, said it would be fantastic for the whole development to be finally completed.

Mr Tongnlini, who is still involved in the project, said there were around 100 owner-occupiers in the complex now and that the building would comprise 394 apartments when completed.

“It is a really tidy development and it is well managed,” he said.

The move to finish developing the site comes after Norm Carey’s Westpoint group pushed through plans to develop a $250 million apartment complex at the south eastern end of the old Emu Brewery site.

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