Australia’s leading racing club, the Victoria Racing Club (VRC), and Greenland Holding Group Overseas Investment Company Limited (Greenland), a division of China’s leading property developer, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to prepare a Development Concept for two parcels of land adjoining Flemington racecourse in Melbourne.
The MoU requires both parties to devote resources to the preparation of a sales contract for approximately 10,500 sqm (1.05 ha) of land on Epsom Road and the approximately 30,174 sqm (3.01 ha) Hill Land Precinct.
It is envisaged that this negotiation process could take up to six months, during which applications for Planning Approval will be prepared.
VRC Chairman Michael Burn said the understanding reached with Greenland was in line with the Club’s Masterplan announced in 2010, which aimed to unlock the significant value in the two parcels of land to assist in funding racecourse improvements.
“This is an exciting opportunity for the VRC and Greenland to deliver a major project in one of Melbourne’s main growth corridors,” Mr Burn said.
“Flemington is committed to continuous improvement. It is an oasis in a big city, which showcases the best in horse racing, culture, world-class fashion, entertainment, hospitality and city living.
“It is located north-west of the CBD and within a corridor experiencing significant population growth. The immediate proximity of existing public transport and Flemington’s recreational facilities will ensure the two properties will occupy a premium market position.”
The managing director of Greenland, Mr Sherwood Luo, said his company had identified the land for its first development in Melbourne and had decided to negotiate directly with the VRC, following the announcement of its Masterplan.
“Greenland has already announced its first Australian project in Sydney, and if successful in our negotiations with the VRC, this could be our first in Melbourne.
“The location of the parcels of land, close to Melbourne’s CBD in such a lively suburb as Flemington makes the area ideal for a development that will contribute considerably to the community and to the precinct,” Mr Luo said.
During the negotiations, reviews will include analysis of impacts on cultural heritage, transport and flora and fauna. Any sale will be subject to approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board.
VRC Chairman Michael Burn said that the MoU clearly outlined that the VRC retained the right to approve draft versions of the Development Concept before planning approvals were sought from government authorities.
“The document states the concept must be of suitable quality and design to complement and respect the Flemington Racecourse precinct,” Mr Burn said.