15/07/2014 - 13:16

Woodside deal puts AAIG in spotlight

15/07/2014 - 13:16

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Woodside Petroleum quashed weeks of speculation this month when it revealed it would call Capital Square home from 2018.

Woodside deal puts AAIG in spotlight
MOVING OUT: Woodside will move its operations to Capital Square from 2018.

Woodside Petroleum quashed weeks of speculation this month when it revealed it would call Capital Square home from 2018.

But the deal has only sharpened the focus on the project’s Malaysian proponent, AAIG, and the man driving the development, Victor Goh.

AAIG’s registered address is the offices of Lavan Legal in Perth, and project architects Cox Howlett & Bailey Woodland are handling any inquiries.

Mr Goh, who is understood to be an architect, flies into Perth every couple of weeks to focus on the project and he spoke passionately in support of it at the development assessment panel meeting last July.

AAIG has recruited a high-profile team of consultants for the job, including Probuild, Rowe Group, and Cox.

Cox has an ongoing relationship with AAIG, although it’s not clear whether it has worked on other projects with Mr Goh.

No-one with direct links to the project was willing to discus Mr Goh or AAIG, but industry insiders suggest he is behind a number of large apartment developments in Malaysia.

Capital Square is AAIG’s first Australian development, with Mr Goh having secured approval for a $350 million, mixed-use build on the old Emu Brewery site late last year.

Work is already under way on the site, which has the dubious distinction of being Perth’s most notorious vacant block.

It’s a history Mr Goh is well aware of and keen to move past with his three-tower proposal.

His agreement with Woodside has attracted a lot of attention, least of all because no commercial agent was party to the lease discussions.

It’s understood both Knight Frank and tenant advocate Acorpp provided advice in the lead up to the negotiations, but the finer details of the memorandum of understanding were brokered directly between the two parties.

AAIG paid $49.5 million for the former Emu Brewery site in 2010 and its three-tower proposal for the site includes a 31-level office tower, 120-room hotel and 41-storey apartment tower.

DEXUS Property Group is now in the market for several major tenants to refill Woodside Plaza at a time of great uncertainty for city landlords.

The vacancy rate is expected to get as high as 17 per cent by the end of next year, however unleased space in premium buildings is closer to 1 per cent and not expected to rise sharply.

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