US multifamily operator Greystar has made its third transaction for a development pipeline of multi-family projects in Australia, with the purchase of a site in Melbourne from Singapore-based Chip Eng Seng for A$65m (€39m).

The 15-85 Gladstone Street site in South Melbourne, had been approved for as a multi-stage residential precinct, but construction had not yet begun.

Chip Eng Seng’s local subsidiary, CES Gladstone Australia, launched the first stage of the development when it offered 700 apartments for pre-sale early this year – just as Melbourne’s apartment market began collapsing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Singaporean firm scuttled plans to proceed with the massive project, putting the site to market instead. It said in a statement that it intended to refund deposits to potential buyers of its apartments.

“The group has traditionally adopted the strategy of reviewing opportunities to divest its existing properties or assets, as and when they arise, in order to re-deploy capital for new properties or asset classes which have better upside potential in terms of yield and/or capital appreciation,” the company said in a statement.

The latest purchase for Greystar comes after its purchase of two office blocks in Melbourne in February. These will be redeveloped into a A$400m build-to-rent apartment complex.

The office deal coincided with the announcement of the launch of Greystar’s first multifamily fund in Australia. At its first close, the fund raised A$350m from a number of foundation investors, including APG.

To read the digital edition of the latest IPE Real Assets magazine click here.