Singapore’s ARA Asset Management and QuadReal Property Group have confirmed the acquisition of a site for a A$300m (€183m) office development in Australia as the first investment for their new joint venture.

Last month IPE Real Assets reported that ARA had secured the backing of the Canadian institutional investor in its bid to buy Victoria Place, a project at 200 Victoria Parade in East Melbourne.

At the time, a source said ARA had been looking at the project since November adding that QuadReal is backing ARA’s bid for the site.

The site has approval for a 283,000sqm office building, and will have an end-value “north of A$300m”, according to David Bligh, CEO of ARA Australia said today.

It is believed the partners paid around A$70m for the site, which came to market in June 2019 after its Chinese developer Golden Age, chose not to proceed with its development.

The project is due for completion in 2022.

Peter Kim, QuadReal’s managing director for Asia, said: “Melbourne is a key focal point for our global cities strategy. We like Melbourne because of the demographics.

“The city has a growing population, and market-watchers expect Melbourne to surpass Sydney as Australia’s largest city by 2026.

“There is a lot of organic and international movement patterns helping drive that population growth,” he told IPE Real Assets.

ARA and QuadReal, the real estate arm of British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, formed the venture last August to acquire and manage investments in office and logistics in Sydney and Melbourne.

“Over the next three to four years, we hope to see a portfolio weighted toward office but with some logistics exposure spread between Melbourne and Sydney,” Kim said.

A$300m (€182m) development