S P Setia acquires land in Melbourne

PETALING JAYA: S P Setia Bhd has acquired a 46,715 sq ft piece of land in Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD) for RM92.4 million on March 29.

In a statement, S P Setia’s president and chief executive officer, Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin said the new venture was in line with the group’s strategy to expand its reach beyond its well-known township developments to include integrated commercial, high-rise residential as well as international expansion.

The land enjoys dual street frontages with A’Beckett Street on its southern and Franklin Street on its northern boundaries, and is located between Elizabeth and Queen Streets.

The largest remaining undeveloped site in the central spine of Melbourne’s CBD, the land is a short walking distance to Melbourne Central Shopping Centre and Railway Station, and is close to the Queen Victoria Market.

It is also close to RMIT University, University of Melbourne, La Trobe University and the beautiful Flagstaff Gardens.

“The strong reception given to the maiden launches of SetiaWalk and Setia Sky Residences in Malaysia as well as Ecolakes in Vietnam, which mark the Group’s foray into new growth areas, has convinced us that our strategy of regional growth anchored by our strong Malaysian base is sound,” said Liew.

The deal was brokered by Savills Australia following a tender process. According to Savills, there was strong interest from local and offshore buyers but S P Setia offered the best combination of terms and corporate strength.

Liew said the acquisition would give the group a rare and valuable opportunity to enter the mature, high-income and robust Melbourne property market credibly to further establish its credentials and boost its profile as an international property developer.

He added that along with international expansion, the Group would also continue to focus on acquiring landbank in Malaysia for growth and re-investment, given the many opportunities that still exist at home.

Melbourne is the second most populous city in Australia and has consistently been ranked one of the top three World’s Most Liveable Cities by the Economist Group’s Intelligence Unit in its annual survey.

“This presents a great opportunity for the Group to reach out to this market segment that is familiar with and appreciative of our strong development track record and branding in Malaysia,” said Liew.

According to Savills, the land could not be better located in terms of residential development.

Currently, Melbourne has an acute shortage of residential accommodation coupled with excellent strong population growth, creating a very compelling situation for cashed-up residential developers.

With regards to the Australian operating environment, the group’s close working relationship with the Lend Lease Group via its Setia City Mall joint venture has provided the Group with a very positive experience of the Australian business culture.

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