Troubled Aviary Toowong Site Sold

The sale of the site of the failed Aviary tower in Brisbane has been confirmed.

On July 31, The Urban Developer, in an exclusive report, detailed that the approved $450-million mixed-use precinct at Toowong—about 5km from the CBD—has been abandoned and that the site was being sold.

It has now been announced that a syndicate run by Ray White Capital and developer State Development Corporation has offloaded the 9ha site at Toowong in the Queensland capital’s inner west for $53 million to an unnamed Brisbane investment company.

The deal was negotiated by Christian of Frank with Ian Hetherington from Ray White.

The purchaser IJ Capital intends to undertake a joint venture with the owner of the adjoining site at 80-88 Jephson Street to integrate the properties into a $1-billion retail, office and residential development over the total 1.3ha sites, according to Knight Frank.

State Development Corporation managing director Ross McKinnon said the sale enabled RW Capital to deliver a return to its investors after many months of uncertainty.

“We are delighted that the purchaser will look to develop the property,” he said.

“Since launching the development in 2020, we have received overwhelming support from the Brisbane City Council, residents and retail tenants, and we have no doubt that once built, the project will provide fantastic amenity to the Toowong community.”

Knight Frank’s Sandstrom sold the site to State Development Corporation and also introduced the new purchaser in the current sale, he said.

“I have been working with this purchaser for an extended period in transacting the deal,” he said.

“This property is in a prime site in the heart of Toowong, and will follow other recent developments including the Monarch development on the old ABC site and Mosaic developments on Sylvan Road and Archer Street.”

▲ A render of the now-shelved Aviary at Toowong.

Touted as a “visionary new town centre set to become the beating heart of Brisbane’s inner-west”, speculation about the Aviary had been rife with its cleared site sitting dormant for months.

An off-the-plan buyer in The Aviary’s sold-out 25-storey luxury apartment tower confirmed to The Urban Developer this week the development’s demise, saying he had been informed the project “was being cancelled” and all contracts were being terminated and deposits refunded.

The high-profile Brisbane project joins a growing list of major off-the-plan developments across the country being dumped before they get out of the ground in the face of multimillion-dollar cost blowouts.

In an early sign of what was to come, Daydream Property’s sold-out $140-million, 76-apartment Alegria residential tower project at Palm Beach on the Gold Coast was cancelled in June last year due to spiralling costs.

The following month, Melbourne’s most prolific high-rise developer, Central Equity, abandoned plans to build a $500-million luxury apartment tower at Surfers Paradise.

In April this year, developer Keylin mothballed the $140-million apartment tower in its Oria development at Spring Hill on the Brisbane CBD doorstep despite holding sales contracts for more than 80 per cent of its 121 units.

Its shelving came just six months after the other half of the twin-tower development, which was to house the city’s first Movenpick Hotel, was scrapped.

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