Developer Holder East Focuses on Offices due to Ongoing Apartment Slump


Chinese developer Holder East has submitted new plans for an 83-metre commercial tower, signalling a new direction as interest in the group’s residential projects has dramatically slowed.

After selling less than 10% of its Oasis Residences apartments in the project’s first six weeks, the developer is forging ahead with plans for a new office tower at its La Trobe Street site.

“The market is the market. We would like better bank policies and better conditions but we can’t control it,” said Holder East CEO CJ Wu of the disappointing Oasis sales last year.

Holder East’s Oasis development suffered disappointing sales after its launch. Image & header source: Holder East.

Acquired in 2017 for $24 million, the 1826sqm West Melbourne site was prime real estate for a residential development at the time. But a cooling apartment market may have influenced Holder East’s decision.

PDG’s Elizabeth North project was completely revamped in December after abandoning its plans for a residential development. In April, Anton acquired Golden Age’s Spring Street site for $112 million, and promptly scrapped planned apartments in favour of refurbishing the existing office tower.

Related: Competition Tightens for Construction Jobs as Market Decline Continues

Holder East’s new commercial building will offer approximately 18,000sqm of office space, with an additional retail component. While Holder East’s permit application lists the construction value at $60 million, the AFR estimates that the fully developed project could be worth as much as $250 million.

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