Singapore’s ARA Asset Management has secured the backing of Canadian institutional investor QuadReal Property Group in its bid to clinch a A$300m (€182m) development on the fringe of the Melbourne central business district.

Victoria Place, a project at 200 Victoria Parade in East Melbourne, came on the market in June 2019 when Chinese developer Golden Age decided not to proceed with the project.

With office vacancy tightening in Melbourne CBD and a lack of good development sites, the project has attracted prospective buyers, including some of Australia’s largest property groups and international investors.

ARA has been looking at the project since November, according to local sources. “We confirm that QuadReal is backing ARA’s bid for 200 Victoria Parade, but we are not able to provide further details,” one source said.

In August last year, QuadReal, the real estate arm of British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, formed a joint venture with Australian fund managers Charter Hall and Abacus to acquire a Sydney office tower, 201 Elizabeth Street, for A$630m.

At the time Peter Kim, managing director for Asia at QuadReal, told IPE Real Assets that 201 Elizabeth Street was its first investment with Charter Hall.

He said QuadReal already had exposure to Australia through investments in student housing and a joint venture with ARA Asset Management

Kim also said that establishing and extending partnerships with experienced real estate managers and investors was critical to QuadReal’s strategic plan.