9 March 2003
Westpac Bank will consolidate its 10 office sites around the Sydney central business district into 2 locations, 1 of which will be a new 33-storey 74,000mÂ² Leighton Properties building halfway between George St and Darling Harbour, currently a carpark bounded by Kent, Erksine, Napoleon & Sussex Sts. Westpac will take a 12-year lease from 2006 with 3 6-year options. Bank chief executive David Morgan said 78% of Westpac’s Sydney cbd corporate office leases would expire by 2006. He said the move would enable the bank to cut its total cbd corporate occupancy by 20%. Westpac Institutional Bank will set up a special property trust to acquire the land before construction and engage Leighton to complete the building. Westpac will open the trust to investors in April. It will be structured so investors receive an investment return guaranteed by Westpac during the construction phase, without exposure to construction risk. Westpac will remain in its 60 Martin Place premises at least until the current lease expires. This will occur in tranches from 2007-2012.
5 March 2003
Prime Property Fund, managed by Lend Lease Real Estate Investments, has bought Morristown Plaza, a 148-unit midrise luxury rental apartment property in New Jersey, with a direct rail link to Penn Station in New York City. The property also has 700mÂ² of shops and is fully occupied.
3 March 2003
Hugh E Osmond, who created the Punch Taverns Group Ltd in 1997 and sold most of it last year, has entered his bid for Six Continents (formerly Bass), which owns 3200 hotels & 2000 pubs, including the InterContinental and Holiday Inn hotel chains. The Â£7 billion offer is in stock & assumed debt. Mr Osmond has offered 36 shares in his Capital Management & Investing plc holding company for every 6 Six Continents shares, valuing them at Â£6.48/share, up from Â£6.19 last Friday. Six Continents has plans to split the hotels and pubs businesses next month.