Aqualand boards North Sydney express

The company, led by managing director Jin Lin, is seeking to have its existing long-term leasehold over the property at 15 Blue Street extended to a 99 year lease. Under its plan it would retain parts of the existing building but the focus would be on redeveloping the remaining area into a premium grade office with hospitality and retail offerings.As well as rejuvenating the ageing building into a new complex, Aqualand is offering the lure of improved accessibility to North Sydney station and would help maintain areas around the station.Aqualand bought the property in 2017 from Phillip Wolanski’s Denwol Group for about $168m. The 19-storey building sits directly above the North Sydney station and would also benefit from the new metro.The 15,880sq m building was built in 1976 but the site offers uninterrupted views towards the Sydney CBD and Harbour Bridge. The NSW government-owned RailCorp owns the freehold.The unsolicited proposals process was also used by Mirvac, which is seeking approval for its overhaul of the Harbourside Shopping Centre in Darling Harbour, and by Dexus and Frasers, as well as private group Toga, all of which have proposed major towers near Central Station.The move by Aqualand comes amid a development boom in North Sydney with proposals by Lendlease, Stockland, and Holdmark for new towers. Dexus has developed 100 Mount Street, alongside its wholesale fund, and Winten Property Group developed the new Nine Media headquarters. Dexus and its office partner, CPP Investment Board, are also looking to offload a smaller building, 201 Miller Street, as it turns its attention to larger projects.That building spans 22 levels of A-Grade offices and occupies a commanding position at the junction of Miller and Berry Streets. Dexus had equity accounted for its half stake at $77m last year but values have since soared.Aqualand is separately preparing to launch luxury apartments at its project at 168 Walker Street in North Sydney. The 415-unit development is expected to set new benchmarks in the area.

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