Greenland, China’s biggest development company, owned by the Chinese government, has grown rapidly in Australia since announcing it would build Sydney’s tallest apartment building, the Greenland Centre in Bathurst Street in the CBD.
In 2013 it had just two staff. Today it has 68 people and they’re managing a massive $3.6 billion of development value in the pipeline.
Last Thursday the company unveiled a lifestyle centre to promote its latest project, nbh (for neighbourhood), comprising around 900 apartments at Lachlan’s Line, the UrbanGrowth NSW masterplanned site adjacent to the Macquarie Park railway station and 250 metres from North Ryde Station.
The project is expected to be the first out of the ground in the precinct and to become a retail and community centre for the precinct. It will have 6000 square metres of retail space and a community centre, possibly for childcare, of 2500 sq m.
According to a company spokesman there’s much more on the way. Apartment projects on the way include Leichhardt Green, Omnia at Potts Point and Lucent, where sales are being settled. Next in line will be the Ashmore Industrial Estate at inner city Erskineville slated for between 1400 and 1600 apartments.
Purchase of the land from Goodman is scheduled to be completed next year, with Greenland buying a majority stake in GH properties, part of the Hong Kong-based Golden Horse Holdings, which initiated purchase of the 6.9 hectare site from Goodman Group.
But don’t expect that sheer size and capacity of a development company is sufficient to drive higher sustainability outcomes. At the launch of the lifestyle centre at nbh the models of the six residential towers ranging in height from three to 17 storeys displayed ample free roof spaces but there was nary a solar panel in sight.
The closest the pitch to media and stakeholders came to mention of sustainability was that the style and quality of finishes were selected to last long term. So no fashion statements that would soon be superseded.
Architect Jason Fraser from Bates Smart told The Fifth Estate the project would meet BASIX environmental minimum standards.
A company spokesman said there was more potential for sustainability outcomes at Erskineville because the demographic there was more likely to call for this.
“Like all developers, you need to make sure that the development meets the market in the area we are talking about. So that’s why I have a view that there is better than even chance that we will respond to the local market.
“In the same way at Lachlan’s Line responds to the Millennial market.”
A design competition for the site would be launched in about October or November.
Meanwhile the market is still waiting to see what comes of the Greenland Centre at Bathurst Street in the CBD.
Greenland told media in May that Builder Brookfield Multiplex had pulled out of an agreement to build the tower. Industry sources said Brookfield was concerned about timeframes and the potential for stiff fines for time overruns.
Greenland said there was no imminent announcement on a replacement builder but that demolition of existing structures was proceeding.