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News Originally posted at afr.com

Far East Consortium buys three more sites in Perth, confirms Dorsett Hotel

September 13, 2017

Artist's impression of Far East Consortium's Perth City Link. Photo: Supplied

Hong Kong mega-developer Far East Consortium has snapped up three more lots at the Perth City Link redevelopment, pushing its stake at the site next to the Perth Arena to 1.25 hectares.

The group bought the sites from the state government’s Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, in addition to two adjacent sites it acquired in 2016. The total price for all five lots is confidential.

Far East also confirmed it would be building a $100 million, 270-room 4-star Dorsett Hotel and a circa-$200 million, 300-apartment tower on the two earlier lots, a 1000 sq m and 1500 sq m site respectively.

The 21-storey Dorsett, which will be targeted at corporate clients and concert-goers, will be delivered by Far East Consortium’s hospitality arm, Dorsett Hospitality International, one of the biggest hotel owners in Hong Kong.

This is one of three Dorsett hotels planned for Australia, as the group looks to roll out its hotel chain nationwide.

The $1.4 billion Perth City Link at Wellington and Milligan streets is one of the Perth CBD’s biggest redevelopments. The area, a network of bus and train connections, will become a new residential, retail and commercial precinct and will connect the CBD with Northbridge.

Mirvac was also looking to get involved in the project but pulled out last year.

This project adds to Far East’s growing Perth portfolio, which includes three waterfront residential towers in Elizabeth Quay with a prestigious ground-floor retail precinct, and the The Ritz-Carlton Perth also in the same complex, reflecting the company’s faith in the recovering Perth market.

Far East Consortium chairman David Chiu said Perth had seen its worst, while executive executive director Craig Williams said the group had moved in early on Perth because there were “greenshoots” especially in the residential investment market.

“It’s too early to say it has recovered,” Mr Williams said.

“But there is life in residential and while the average price is still heading down, there is appetite for units from investors. There is still a pulse.”

“Because Perth has taken a belting, there are now good buys there. We noticed some of our groups of buyers in the eastern seaboard looking there as are Asian investors. We are quietly optimistic.”

Far East Consortium Western Australia manager Dan Sweet also said tourism was replacing a lot of the lost business from the mining downturn.

“We see signs the decline in the residential market has bottomed out at the end of November last year,” he said.

The group will now submit development applications for the hotel and apartment tower.

It has not decided exact plans for the three new sites.

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