Ivanhoé Cambridge, Irongate Group (ASX:IAP, JSE: IAP) and Built have today announced the acquisition of the 1.57 hectare Younghusband Woolstores development site in Kensington, Melbourne.
Younghusband is a heritage-listed site with planning approvals in place for a multi-stage infill precinct comprising up to 56,000sqm of A grade office and retail offering targeting best in class sustainability ratings.
Stage 1 involves the adaptive re-use of the existing heritage redbrick woolstores into a state-of-the-art office and retail precinct of approximately 17,600sqm. The adjoining Stage 2, which was approved by council in January 2022, involves the development of a new premium-grade eight level office building of approximately 16,000sqm with ground floor retail connections between the two stages. Following the successful delivery of the first two stages, stage 3 of the development will complete the office and retail precinct.
Kensington is one of Melbourne’s last remaining ‘villages by the city’. The proposed development is supported by the significant investment by the State Government and the Melbourne City Council into the Macauley and Arden Structure Plans. With a new train station and recent investment from some of the world’s leading private and public investors, the area will be home to the full ‘work, live, play’ experience that characterizes some of the world’s greatest neighbourhoods.
Upon acquisition, the joint venture will immediately commence construction of Stage 1 for delivery in early 2024.
The development is also targeting leading environmental and sustainability ratings including 6-Star Green Star Design & As Built v1.3, WELL Core v2 Gold, 5.5 Star NABERS Office Energy (Base Building), 4.5 Star NABERS Water and Climate Active certification to be carbon neutral in operation and in construction service.
Ivanhoé Cambridge Co-Head of Asia Pacific, George Agethen, said: “As we accelerate our growth in Australia, this new acquisition is another demonstration of our strategy to develop mixed-used projects at the core of urban regeneration initiatives. In this context, we are delighted to start a new partnership with Irongate and Built to deliver this iconic project. We are particularly proud of the sustainable characteristics of Younghusband, anticipating our commitment to make all our development projects net-zero carbon from 2025.”
Irongate CEO, Graeme Katz, said: “Built is Australia’s leading private contractor, with an unparalleled expertise in delivering heritage assets. This will allow for the delivery of what will be Australia’s leading heritage office asset at a time where there is strong demand for market leading amenities and environmental initiatives to attract workers back to the office. We are also proud to be partnering with Ivanhoé Cambridge, a very high-quality investment partner and among the ten largest real estate companies in the world with assets owned in excess of C$60 billion. Their investment provides validation of both Irongate and Built’s expertise.”
Built CEO and Managing Director, Brett Mason, said: “Younghusband will be our first major development project in Melbourne delivered by our local team with extensive experience in revitalising some of Melbourne’s most iconic heritage buildings. Our capability as a development and construction group will allow us to unlock this opportunity and mobilise quickly to provide the project with certainty and give these heritage buildings new life respectful of their rich history. We are also excited to be working with our existing partner, Irongate and a high-quality real estate investor with global reach like Ivanhoé Cambridge.”
The acquisition is subject to approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board.