PORT ADELAIDE, Australia — New Zealand has approved the sale of $4.9 million of land to a major Australian property developer, setting a precedent for what could be used to build commercial buildings and offices in Australia’s northern cities.
The approval of the land for development by The Australian Property Group (APGN) comes on top of approval last week by a NSW court of a similar property for commercial development by the firm.APGN’s chief executive, David Schmitt, said he would “be very happy” to work with the Australian government to bring the land to fruition.
The APGN-owned land sits on the north coast of New South Wales and is an important gateway for the Australian port city, which has struggled to attract new companies.
Mr Schmitt said it was important to have a local property developer involved in commercial development.
“We think it’s important for the people of Port Adelaide to have that option, to be able to build a business, be able have a business in a city that is very dependent on the port,” he said.
“If you’re building a commercial project, you can’t build a commercial business in Port Adelaide without a local developer.”
You’ve got to have someone who is well versed in the landscape, who can get the approval to put in that sort of property.
“Mr Schimbetts company has been involved in building offices in Sydney and Melbourne and has also designed and built properties in Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane.
It has been widely reported the APGN land in the north of the state is on the northern shore of the Great Barrier Reef and was used as a launching pad for the launch of a new fishing fleet in 2009.APTN-owned Land Management Holdings Limited was the only bidder for the land, which was originally developed by former mining tycoon James D’Ambrosio.
Mr D’Ambrosio sold the land in 2012 to a Chinese company for $3.7 million and the land was re-sold by APTN in 2017 for $4 million.APT had previously owned the land but was forced to sell it to a company linked to the Chinese government in 2012 for $2.5 million.
The land was purchased from the former owner in 2020 and the APTN-controlled Land Management had planned to build the site as part of an expansion of its business.
But in the meantime, APTN’s CEO Mr Schmitt and APTN CEO-general, Mr David Schimbett, began looking at potential land in Australia to build office and retail buildings.”
There was a great opportunity for us to come in and take a piece of the landscape of the Northern Territory,” Mr Schimbitt said.
The proposed commercial development will include a new office tower, a hotel, a retail store and an office park.
Mr Chimbetts comments were welcomed by the head of the NSW Department of Planning and Local Government, David Williams, who said the approval of this development would be a good example of the way the Northern Australia Government works in collaboration with private developers.”
The Government of Northern Territory has been working closely with APTN on a number of projects in the Northern Territories, including the purchase of land and the re-development of a major industrial site, and this development is a big step forward,” Mr Williams said.
Mr Williams said it is not clear yet whether the APT-owned site will be used for residential development or commercial development, but said the Department of Local Government would have to consider the implications.”
It is important that we work closely with all our partners to make sure we have a strong vision for our local economy, and that our public spaces and our local public buildings are well-maintained,” he told ABC Radio Hobart.”
This new development will be the beginning of a whole new era for our region, so that people can come to Port Adelaide and work in our city, come to the office park and live here, and not just live in our cities.
“The Department of Housing and Community Development has confirmed that the APTS land is in the process of being developed, but declined to comment further.
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