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    CBD tenants have rediscovered Sydney’s North


    2019 - 05.13

    Having been in the doldrums for many years post the failure of the dot南京夜网 industry, the lower North Shore office sector is coming back to life.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Conversion of older office towers into residential is also ending, paving the way for new commercial developments that are breathing life into the North Sydney central business district.

    It is estimated that more than $500 million worth of office assets have changed hands in North Sydney in the past year as the area comes back onto investors’ radars.

    The new metro rail line is also reinvigorating the suburbs along the highway to Chatswood.

    The Property Council of Australia’s latest office market report shows the aggregate vacancy rate across all North Shore markets has dropped from 8.1 to 7.9 per cent in the six months to July, largely due to positive demand.

    Dexus, Aqualand, Cromwell, Denison and Winton Property are among the many developers that have identified the North Shore as the new office zone outside the Sydney CBD and away from the buzz at Parramatta.

    Michael Lochtenberg, director, leasing and development, office leasing at Colliers International, said over recent years the movement in tenants has been generally south from the northern suburbs and Macquarie Park into North Sydney and Sydney CBD, such as Goodman Fielder, Jacobs and Architectus.

    ???He said this movement was driven by corporates to attract and retain staff with access to amenity. This was greatly facilitated by high vacancy levels and corresponding high incentive levels.

    “This movement south continues but appears to be slowing especially when tenants consider the move south extending over the bridge. It appears that the significant rise in rents and drying up of incentives is making tenants have second thoughts before they cross the Harbour Bridge, such as the Nine Network, which is moving to Winton’s 1 Denison Street, North Sydney,” Mr Lochtenberg said.

    The rise of the new properties has been a drawcard for tenants such as Vodafone’s new head office at 177 Pacific Highway, while Flight Centre is looking to move from 474 George Street to the North.

    The office asset at 116 Miller Street was bought by a private offshore buyer for $134 million and is the largest potential development site in North Sydney at 2304 square metres. It is directly opposite the proposed new Victoria Cross Metro Station.

    The sale was negotiated by Knight Frank’s Tyler Talbot, Dominic Ong, Angus Klem and CI Australia’s Bevan Kenny and Chris Veitch who acted for Property Bank Australia, Security Capital Corporation and RG Property.

    “Traditionally we would have thought Sydney CBD rents have exceeded rents in North Sydney, but this has not always been the case. But since the advent of the GFC, net face rents in North Sydney have been higher than that found in the city. This was also the case for net effective rents, with an exception of a brief period in the throws of the GST in 2008, soon after the delivery of 100 Arthur Street and the refurbishment of 101 Miller Street, following the vacation of Optus,” Mr Lochtenberg, said.

    “We now forecast that the net effective rent spread will move from an approximate city discount of $80 per square metre in March 2014, to a premium of $130 per square metre in March 2020, a $210 per square metre turnaround in a period of six years. The underlying net effective rent for the CBD move from the current rate of $580 per square metre to the forecast peak of $740 per square metre in March 2020, a 28 per cent rise in less than three years from today.”

    With talk now subsiding about the creation of a Metro Station in Crows Nest, the focus of local stakeholders seems to have shifted towards the Department of Planning & Environment’s (DP&E) investigation study of the St Leonards/Crows Nest Station precinct.

    The DP&E has just released an interim statement outlining a draft vision, objectives and guiding planning principles for the priority precinct.

    The area has been broken down into 10 “character areas” with increased densities set to be focused in areas closest to the new Crows Nest Metro Station and St Leonards Train Station.

    Tom Appleby, Colliers International’s investment services operator, recently sold a 12-lot commercial strata building in-one-line at 84 Alexander Street. He expects collective sales to be become more prevalent in the area as developers jostle for sites.

    “With amalgamations being encouraged by the DP&E to ensure co-ordinated redevelopment, it’s anticipated that the incentives being offered to both freehold and strata-titled property owners in certain areas will be great enough to ensure the process is worthwhile,” Mr Appleby said.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Retail tenants putting the heat on landlords


    2019 - 05.13

    There is a battle royale looming in the retail sector and while its not directly related to Amazon, it comes about because of online shopping.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The angst is that in amending the Retail Leases Act, which came into effect on July 1, NSW has become the first state to legislate that online revenue be excluded from turnover calculations.

    But, as with a lot of legislation, it is not national, yet the country’s biggest retail landlords all operate in every state. Queensland updated its legislation in 2016, though did not address the e-commerce issue, while there is no mention of online revenue in the Victorian Retail Leases Act 2003.

    In NSW, the amendment to the Retail Leases Act 1994 says that turnover rent excludes online revenue except where the goods are delivered or provided from the shop, or the transaction takes place while the customer is at the shop.A tenant is not required to provide information to the landlord regarding online transactions except where the goods are delivered or provided from the shop, or the transaction takes place while the customer is at the shop.So, the issue is, as more stores sell online, how do the landlords get a cut of the action and stop the online sales revenue leakage?

    Kate Warwick, the senior managing director and head of retail and consumer products and Glen Smith, managing director, real estate advisory, from FTI Consulting said that retail leasing is fraught with conflict. They said the tides were turning in favour of tenants, but they expect landlords won’t take long to react.

    On one hand, landlords desire certainty of income and to maximise the value of their investment. On the other, tenants commonly want to minimise their overheads and ensure their rent reflects the performance of the store.

    Jacqueline Burns, the managing director of Market Expertise, says a compromise of sorts has seen various forms of turnover rent clauses negotiated into a range of retail leases over the years, in particular for supermarkets, department stores, and larger specialty store networks in shopping centres, whereby the tenant would generally pay a fixed base rent, plus a variable ‘turnover’ rent component directly linked to annual revenue performance.

    Traditional turnover rent clauses worked effectively when we all shopped conventionally in-store. There was no disputing a retailer’s turnover and little debate about the definition of the term “turnover”.

    However, in an era where we are increasingly shopping online, are turnover clauses still relevant? Many retail landlords will not yet have had the opportunity to address the impact of online sales, particularly for longer term leases, and how they are impacting store revenue and therefore turnover rent payable.

    With Amazon soon to arrive in Australia, the amount spent online is poised to increase, especially as Australia’s online sales penetration is lower than similar Western economies, and there will be fierce competition for the traditional in-store shopping dollar.

    Ms Warwick and Mr Smith said landlords will now seek to future proof their leases and, for longer leases, and may seek to include provisions that allow for a periodic review of any turnover rent mechanism, to ensure it remains relevant and reflects market conditions through the course of the lease.

    “Landlords will become more focused on arresting revenue leakage and will look for ways to attribute online revenue to physical stores. Traditional or ‘all inclusive’ turnover definitions may become a thing of the past. Landlords and tenants will be more focused on defining terms such as turnover, and on expressly negotiating what is and is not included in turnover,” they said.

    “Landlords will request that tenants disclose accounting information regarding online transactions in support of turnover calculations. ??? Following NSW, other States and Territories may feel compelled to amend their retail leasing legislation in response to the impacts of new technology and changing consumer purchasing behaviour.”

    Ms Warwick said in response to these ongoing changes, landlords will need to consider how they structure their lease agreements. They may ultimately need to reach more sustainable and/or relevant rental structures in an effort to attract and secure new tenants and to ensure existing tenants remain viable at their centres.

    “Other landlords will also likely be actively seeking to capture ‘click and collect’ purchases, and online purchases by households within a certain radius of a store, within turnover figures to structure rent and calculate turnover rent provisions,” Ms Warwick said.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Mega-lot sales gaining in popularity with home owners


    2019 - 05.13

    The change in strata legislation has triggered a rise in collective sales, often dubbed mega-lot deals, with the number recorded now reaching 17.8 per cent share of total disclosed sales in 2016-17.
    Nanjing Night Net

    According to Knight Frank’s research, collective site sales, suitable for low, medium and high-density development, have increased six-fold over the past five years, with foreign buyers purchasing 62 per cent of the sales.

    The research showed that the share of NSW vertical collective site sales suitable for higher density grew to $228.3 million, up 8.1 per cent in 2016-17, when compared against the total volume of disclosed higher density residential sites sold. This followed the reformed legislation coming into operation on November 30, 2016, after representing 2.3 per cent a year earlier.

    Collective sales are where more than one vendor comes together to form a group in order to sell their property in one line to a purchaser. In NSW the legislation has changed and if there are 75 per cent of residents in agreeance, then the sale can proceed.

    The “horizontal” deals include the sale of multiple single dwellings grouping together to form an amalgamated residential super-lot and an entire industrial complex with multiple owners of individual strata units across one level. Vertical sales include the sale of an entire residential, office, hotel or serviced apartment complex with two or more levels.

    Mega lots have attracted the attention of residents where the apartment block may need repair or a street is being rezoned and home owners team up and sell to a developer. Deals have reaped significant rewards for vendors.

    There are many legal hurdles to clear and much discussion needed among the residents and not everyone has been on board. But agents say they are getting more requests about how to undertake a collective sale.

    Knight Frank’s latest report, Collective Sales for Residential Development – Market Insight: September 2017, found that the practice has been both horizontally, with multiple homeowners grouping together to form residential super-lots, and vertically, with owners of individual apartments and office suites within a building leveraging recent legislation changes and rezoned growth corridors.

    According to Knight Frank’s head of residential research, Australia Michelle Ciesielski, when splitting buyer nationalities across Australia, in 2012-13 foreign buyers represented only 21 per cent of collective sales. However by 2016-17, these buyers had purchased 62 per cent of these sales.

    “Within these collective sales purchased by foreign buyers in the last year, 53.6 per cent were for horizontal sites and 8.4 per cent for vertical sales,” Ms Ciesielski said.

    “Vertical site sales have been more prevalent in NSW since new legislation for strata properties came into operation. At this stage, despite lengthy consideration, no other state or territory governments have introduced this change.”

    Some of the biggest deals have been at Macquarie Park, where Savills Australia sold a site at 15-21 Cottonwood Crescent, which saw the 55 homeowners became instant millionaires, with a private developer paying a record price understood to be more than $80 million. The site is to be developed into a mixed-use property.

    This has prompted the owners of 12-14 Lachlan Avenue and 13 Cottonwood Crescent to follow suit, with 33 of the 36 units on the site looking to the residential site sales team at Savills Australia, of Neil Cooke, Stuart Cox and Johnathon Broome, to generate a similar deal.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Poetry on the Move


    2019 - 05.13

    Have you ever wanted to learn how to write poetry for children? Or hear Dorothea Mackellar’s My Country re-interpreted by indigenous, migrant and bi-lingual poets? Keen to shake hands with Steven Oliver from ABCTV’s Black Comedy, bail up a poetry editor, or meet poets from Japan? Canberrans will have the chance to do all this and more at the University of Canberra’s Poetry on the Move festival this month.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The festival, now in its third year, starts on September 14 and comprises 26 events spread over eight days involving 75 poets and other contributors. Most sessions are on the University of Canberra campus in Bruce, but the festival also spills into the National Portrait Gallery, and Belconnen and Gorman Arts Centres. Almost all events are free.

    The festival will see this year’s winner announced for the $15,000 UC Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize, one of the most valuable poetry prizes in the world. US poet Billy Collins is the principal judge. Three other prize results will also be revealed at the announcement event, “A Celebration of Poetry” on September 21: the Young Poets Awards (first prize $500), for ACT and NSW Year 11 and 12 students, the Health Poetry Prize (first prize $1500), for poems on the theme of “living life well”, and the inaugural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Poetry Prize (first prize $1500), announced by special guest, ABCTV writer/performer (and viral YouTube poet) Steven Oliver.

    As it has in previous years, the festival features two internationally eminent poets in residence. This year’s guests are Glyn Maxwell and Vahni Capiledo, both from Great Britain. Both will give workshops and readings, with Trinidadian-British Capiledo also chairing “Measures of Expatriation”, a discussion of identity and migration in poetry. Maxwell will present a special “Drinks with Dead Poets” event, reading from his new book based on the diaries, letters and essays of poets from Byron to Dickinson to Whitman.

    The theme for this year is “Boundary Crossings”, with many sessions focusing on poetry in translation. The Embassy of Japan has supported Japanese poets Takako Arai, Hiromi Ito, Harumi Kawaguchi, Kayoko Yamasaki and Keijiro Suga to attend the festival. Their events include a bi-lingual poetry reading and anthology launch followed by an Embassy-hosted reception, and a special performance at the NPG. Ito and Suga will also appear at the centrepiece of the festival, a joint reading at Gorman Arts Centre with the two guest poets on Saturday evening September 16.

    Other international guests will be attending from the US and New Zealand, and via video link from Great Britain. Joining them will be top interstate and local poets, along with performing and visual artists.

    Further festival performance highlights include an unmissable reading by three of Australia’s leading poets – Judith Beveridge, Sarah Holland-Batt and Stephen Edgar – and a special edition of Canberra’s own BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT! poetry slam at the Phoenix Pub featuring Melbourne’s Quinn Eades and local Paul Magee. Poetry fans should also consider the panel on poetry editing (featuring editors from journals, anthologies, specialist poetry imprints and literary presses), the 10-poet “Take Five” event curated by Canberra poetry institution Kathy Kituai, and the workshop on writing poetry for children from Braidwood-region poet and performer Harry Laing.

    The boundary-crossing theme of the festival is reflected in a Sunday full of “ekphrasis” on September 17, with poetry crossing into visual art (and back again). The centrepiece is textile artist Dianne Firth’s exhibition at Belconnen Arts Centre, in which she has interpreted the reactions of poets to the Canberra landscape from previous years of Poetry on the Move. There will be a morning workshop and lunchtime reading at BCA, with an afternoon reading and panel on “Writing in response to Visual Art” at the NPG.

    The festival also focuses on the crossing of national and cultural boundaries. In addition to the “My Country” and “Measures of Expatriation” events there will be a “Heart of Australia” session on working respectfully with First Nations communities and stories.

    Readings and book launches abound, including several new titles from Canberra’s own Recent Work Press, a vibrant new “micro-publisher” already receiving significant national and international attention. Books by local poets Miranda Lello, Moya Pacey, Maggie Shapley and Monica Carroll are among them.

    Poetry on the Move is hosted by the International Poetry Studies Institute in UC’s Centre for Creative and Cultural Research, in the Faculty of Arts and Design. Accordingly the festival has an academic component too: a day-long symposium on September 20, with Maxwell’s keynote and papers on current poetry research – and of course, post-symposium drinks. After eight days of non-stop poetry, they will be well-earned indeed.

    Poetry on the Move, September 14-21, 2017. Full program at https://梧桐夜网canberra.edu419论坛/research/faculty-research-centres/cccr/ipsi/events/potm2017

    Most events on UC campus (map at http://梧桐夜网canberra.edu419论坛/maps/campus-map).

    Most sessions free but numbers limited for some. Please book for all events at http://poetryonthemove2017.eventbrite南京夜网419论坛

    Melinda Smith is a Canberra poet.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    ‘The crook, the retirement village and my mother’: Residents fight back


    2019 - 05.13

    Jane Cartledge has spent almost a decade trying to claw back hundreds of thousands of dollars from a retirement village operator that she didn’t know had a criminal past and connections to underworld figures.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The battle to get back the $270,000 she is owed from the sale of her mother’s apartment at Berkeley Living in Victoria’s quiet bayside suburb of Patterson Lakes, has cost her time, money and damaged a relationship with her brother.

    It is the latest retirement village operator to face disturbing revelations of misconduct, with Fairfax Media uncovering more than 30 families who have had apartments, worth millions of dollars in total, in the retirement village sold to new owners – when they left or their relatives died – without ever receiving any of the sale proceeds.

    Cartledge says she is dismayed that the village’s operator has been allowed to sell apartments and not pay residents or their families.

    “Cream and bastards rise to the top,” she says.

    It follows a joint Fairfax Media and Four Corners investigation into one of the biggest operators, Aveo, which found a litany of questionable business practices including complex and opaque contracts, fee gouging, safety issues and misleading marketing promises.

    The investigation put the spotlight on weak regulations that fail to protect residents.

    Only this week the Andrews government, in Victoria, faced heavy criticism after releasing its response to a parliamentary inquiry into the sector from various consumer groups and residents as “failing to deliver” and pushing proposed reforms “into the long grass of more reviews” that would mean victims continue to fall through the cracks.

    Fairfax Media can reveal that Berkeley Living, a company trading name registered to Berkeley Property Management, is operating as a respite centre under the directorship of a 25-year-old man with little prior business experience and a criminal record.

    It is also linked to former aged care magnate-turned-bankrupt Stephen Snowden, who has been described as a “serial scammer” after Westpac chased him in 2013 in the Supreme Court of Victoria for $13 million of money he allegedly misappropriated.

    The court found in favour of Westpac and the bank appointed a liquidator to Berkeley Living. In 2014 the bank won a court order to bankrupt him but the bank says it got little back for its efforts.

    Snowden took over management of the village in 2009 when the previous operator ran into financial trouble and his business was wound up.

    Snowden told Fairfax Media this week that the 30-plus families and investors who bought into the business as strata owners were “scumbags” and denied he owed any residents money.

    “As soon as money becomes involved there is no such thing as family especially if mum and dad is not around,” Snowden says.

    Snowden says he is not responsible for the financial hardship the former residents are suffering and is instead the person who is trying to rectify the problem.

    Snowden hit the headlines in 2013 when the Department of Health investigated him in connection with an aged care business he was allegedly linked to, Cambridge Aged Care, on the basis he had a previous conviction for dishonesty.

    Until June 2012, Cambridge was providing welfare services to Berkeley retirement village, including meals and support services.

    One of those aged care homes was linked to a business associate of convicted drug lord Tony Mokbel. Snowden denies being aware of the man’s underworld connections.

    Fairfax Media can reveal that Berkeley Property Management continues to operate the Berkeley Living retirement village but Snowden is not on the board or registered as owning shares.

    Olga Harradine, a former business partner and former girlfriend of Snowden, is the sole shareholder of Berkeley Property Management. A lawyer for Ms Harradine says: “Ms Harradine was not aware she was a shareholder until contacted by The Age and is taking steps to have herself removed as a shareholder.”

    The current director of Berkeley Property Management is listed as Deyar Musa, a 25-year-old man who was convicted of cocaine possession in 2016.

    When asked how Snowden knew Musa, Snowden says he didn’t know before adding: “What the world has to understand is everything has been done at an arm’s length basis.”

    Snowden says residents had agreed to receive only a proportional return. He planned to improve his financial situation by developing land near the village.

    Snowden says he’s keen to return to managing the village.

    But Colin Walker, one of the 30-plus families trying to get back their money, believes Snowden has never been far away. Walker lives close to the village and says has regularly seen him there. At one stage Snowden listed one of the units as his residential address on company documents.

    Walker sold the unit after his father died in 2011. Since then he has been trying to retrieve almost $100,000 that he is owed after exit fees and other fees are deducted.

    “I have gone to Consumer Affairs Victoria, which is a paper tiger. I have written to my local member, the media, Westpac, Moorabin CID for fraud and nothing happened.”

    He says many residents and families were too old and too afraid to speak up for fear of reprisals. He says the only avenue left was legal action, but that would cost at least $250,000, which some of the families couldn’t afford.

    “The whole situation is a complete debacle,” he says.

    Walker criticised a regulatory system that allows retirement villages to change operators without proper regulatory scrutiny.

    “This is an area were many elderly people are unsure of their rights and they invest in these places which can be run or taken over by shifty operators and nobody cares.”

    Cartledge says her family is owed $275,000. She says her mother would be devastated if she knew the money she worked hard for all her life hadn’t gone to her children.

    Like Walker and the many other families, she feels let down by a system that has let retirement village industry fall through the cracks.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.