By Tina Perinotto
7 July 2011 – Japanese based sustainable residential developer Sekisui House has jumped into the central Sydney housing market selecting Frasers Property’s high profile and sustainably ambitious project at Broadway for a major joint venture.
The agreement means the local arm of the company, Sekisui House Australia Holdings, will complete development of the $2 billion, 5.8 hectare, mixed-use Central Park development, with Frasers remaining as project manager of the site.
According to both companies the sustainability aims at Central Park were key in the deal.
Sumio Wada, Sekisui House Australia Holdings chief executive and vice president of Sekisui House Limited (Japan), said: “Central Park already has an international reputation as a development that will bring an outstanding, world-class precinct to inner Sydney; something that we are very excited about as this project shares Sekisui House’s commitment to sustainable living.”
In Japan the company created headlines when its first zero emissions home was built for the G8 Summit in Japan in 2008. In the same year it launched commercial sales of carbon neutral homes with its Green First homes series delivering carbon savings of between 60 to 100 per cent.
And it has a huge stake in prefabricated housing, which industry sources say will be revolutionary for the housing sector. So far, however, Sekisui is keeping any plans for this in Australia close to its chest.
The deal with Frasers is part of what seems a systematic strategy for the Australian market.
In 2009 Sekisui entered the Australian market with a $190 million deal that included a majority stake in Payce’s Waterfront development in Homebush in Sydney’s inner west, as well as a 173 hectare site at Ripley Valley near Ipswich in Queensland.
In June last year AV Jennings sold its contract building division to Sekisui for $18.5 million in a deal that will allow the Japanese developer to market developments under the AV Jennings brand.
Then in late 2010 Sekisui linked up with Lend Lease in a business alliance that will see the two companies participate in joint housing projects.
See our feature story on Sekisui by Lynne Blundell https://thefifthestate.com.au/archives/15886
Frasers already has a relationship with Sekisui. Its Singapore-based parent company, Frasers Centrepoint Ltd, is currently involved in similar joint ventures with Sekisui House Ltd in Singapore.
Founded in 1960 Sekisui House is one of Japan’s leading housing construction companies. It has built two million houses in Japan notching up sales last year totalling 1488 billion yen (AUD$17.5 billion), and has a current market capitalisation of 541 billion yen (AUD$6.76 billion).
Frasers Property Australia Guy Pahor said that Sekisui “mirrors Frasers’ commitment to delivering world-leading, sustainable and innovative urban developments.”
Frasers wanted to set new benchmarks in sustainability with development, Mr Pahor said.
There would be a precinct-wide tri-generation plant for the provision of electricity, chilled water and hot water as well as a water treatment facility that will recycle sewage and stormwater for use in the tri-generation plant and for toilet flushing and landscape irrigation.
On completion of the development the 5.8 hectare site would comprise 1900 apartments, student housing, a hotel, a 16,000 square metre multi-level retail centre and a 75,000 sq m commercial office campus. Key heritage buildings have been retained and would be restored.
Architects at Central Park include Jean Nouvel and Foster + Partners.
Sales to date have exceeded expectations, with over 500 apartments at Central Park now sold encouraging the company to bring development of Central Park’s second residential stage, ‘Park Lane’, forward, with construction expected to commence soon.
The joint venture will allow Frasers to recycle capital into other development opportunities in line with the company’s strategic growth objectives, Mr Pahor said.