Fortis gets green light for three projects worth $570m in Melbourne and Sydney

Fortis gets green light for three projects worth $570m in Melbourne and Sydney

The $320 million Wiltshire House development in Richmond

Sydney-based developer Fortis, the property arm of debt and equity investment manager Pallas Capital, is set to proceed with three projects totalling $570 million in Sydney and Melbourne after securing approvals.

Among the projects is the $320 million twin-tower Wiltshire House in Richmond, for which Fortis has gained approvals to convert the second tower from commercial to residential.

Fortis has also been given the green light to proceed with two commercial projects in Sydney - a landmark $170 million precinct at Double Bay that will bring luxury lifestyle brand Restoration Hardware to Australia for the first time and an $80 development at Manly that will be anchored by Pallas Capital.

With the Richmond project in Melbourne, Fortis had originally planned to deliver 11,000sqm of office space across 11 levels in the second tower to complement the residential offering in tower one.

However, in August last year, the developer resubmitted the project as a residential scheme to take advantage of sustained demand for residential apartments amid a softer office market.

The new plan will now see the company deliver 10,000sqm of premium residential, commercial and retail space in the second tower, comprising ground-floor retail and hospitality, topped by 50 apartments across 11 floors.

“We saw a number of developers last year either re-think their future commercial projects, or redevelop existing ones into sorely needed residential stock,” says Tim Mills, the Fortis Victorian general manager of development.

“We expect to see more of this as factors like population growth, stabilising interest rates and improving economic conditions fuel residential demand.

“We believe there is a significant undersupply of quality stock in Melbourne’s in-demand inner suburbs and see huge potential to pivot existing sites where appropriate into product that serves the market at any given time.”

In Sydney, the Double Bay project is earmarked for a 1,027sqm site acquired by Fortis for $49 million in 2021 with plans to create ‘a bespoke design and hospitality destination’.

The Woollahra Planning Panel has approved a purpose-built design gallery for Restoration Hardware (RH) that Fortis says ‘seamlessly integrates artistic installations of luxury home furnishings, an interior design studio with professional design services’. The project will also have a rooftop restaurant, offering a curated fine dining experience.

Fortis envisions the ‘RH Sydney, The Gallery’ at Double Bay to become a landmark for the city’s eastern suburbs.

The ‘RH Sydney, The Gallery’ at Double Bay is envisaged by Fortis to become a landmark for the city’s eastern suburbs

 

The company says the RH Gallery development will complement other Fortis developments in the area including Neil Perry’s Margaret restaurant and Baker Bleu bakery building at 2 Guilfoyle Avenue and a new Perry venue, Song Bird, at 24 Bay Street.

Opposite the RH Gallery development, Fortis is also developing boutique commercial office suites at the upmarket Ruby House project.

"The development approval and the introduction of RH represents a major milestone in Fortis’ pursuit to continually elevate and evolve Double Bay into a thriving, world-class precinct,” says Ed Eve, the NSW general manager of development at Fortis.

“RH are an internationally recognised brand with a track record in creating inspiring design and hospitality spaces that offer a destinational experience whilst significantly contributing to the broader precincts in which they are located, attracting further luxury brands and operators to the area.

“This will be our first project on Sydney’s northern beaches, presenting a significant capital investment in a prominent location with unmatched design and development quality that Fortis projects are renowned for.”

Eve says Fortis has received strong preliminary interest from food and beverage operators looking at take up the ground floor retail tenancies in the development.

The second Sydney project, an $80 million commercial-retail building, is planned for a 690sqm site at 34-35 South Steyne within Manly’s retail and dining precinct.

Construction of the three-level project, named White Water, is expected to begin in the third quarter of this year with the development featuring three levels of commercial office space and end-of-trip facilities including a sauna and ice bath, a private rooftop terrace and two basement level car parks.

The Manly development will be anchored by Pallas Capital, which will establish a second Sydney office to cater for its growing operations.

Pallas Capital, which delivers funding to Fortis for its projects, is described as one of the fastest growing non-bank lenders in Australia with an investment book totalling $1.7 billion across 246 loans and other investment types.

The company expanded into Queensland with the opening of a Brisbane office in February last year.

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