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CIMIC North Sydney site gets new tenant

In one of the milestone leases for the year, Jacobs, a technical, professional and construction services providor, has signed up for space at the $413 million skyscraper at 177 Pacific Highway, North Sydney.

The deal comes as North Sydney braces for a new phase of rental growth, with the planned construction of the Sydney metro train stations leading to the loss of a significant amount of office space as the NSW government acquires properties for demolition, followed by the construction of the new transport infrastructure.

Under the lease, Jacobs will take 6872 square metres in the tower at 177 Pacific Highway, which is being developed by CIMIC Group through Leighton Properties on behalf of Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust and will be the new head quarters for CIMIC.

The adviser on the deal, CBRE head of office services for NSW Peter Flint, said Jacobs’ significant commitment demonstrates increased activity from tenants wanting to relocate to North Sydney, with this being one of the largest commitments in the area in many years.

He said supply has tightened and  the area’s vacancy rate has also declined significantly, which has led to an ongoing compression in effective rents and investment yields.

According to the Property Council of ‘s Office Market Report, in the six months to July 2015, North Sydney’s vacancy rate fell from 8.9 per cent to 8 per cent.

“Having been under pressure for a while, we are expecting the North Sydney market to have a rebirth, thanks to the Metro rail link, the new residential tower developments and the opening of 177 Pacific Highway,” Mr Flint said.

“Next year there will be an additional 3500 people in the area, which has prompted Investa and Cromwell to open new supermarkets in their buildings, and we expect more amenities over time.”

Other new leases include the top floor of 100 Pacific Highway by the Beam Suntory group, which is said to have paid about $750 per square metre a year in rent.

Market Wrap: Retail outlets still hot with investors

The sale of this three-storey building at 126-128 St Kilda Road reflected a land rate of $5275 a square metre. The home of GO KartSport Racing, the largest indoor track in at 244-248 Chesterville Road in Moorabbin, has sold for $3.7 million.



Retail outlets are still in demand as the year draws to an end. A news agency sold for $1.305 million to an overseas investor, a price more than $300,000 above reserve. The shop at 150 Canterbury Road sold on a yield just above 3 per cent – a strong result linked to buyer’s appetite for secure income producing retail assets, said CBRE’s Sandro Peluso, Josh Twelftree and Rorey James.


Adelaide based commercial property syndicator, Harmony Property Syndication, has paid $10.75 million on a yield of 7.1 per cent for a substantial industrial property at 1-5 Siddons Way. Savills ‘s Chris Jones and Ben Hegerty said the property sold subject to a long-term lease, expiring in 2026, to national tenant Pakcentre Marketing Services, at a current rental of $765,920 per annum net.


The home of GO KartSport Racing, the largest indoor gokart track in at 244-248 Chesterville Road, has sold for $3.7 million. The looming retirement of the track’s owner, Garry Dubois, prompted the sale of the one-time aircraft hangar. The large structure was originally built in the US before being shipped to the Northern Territory and then disassembled and trucked to Melbourne. CBRE’s David Aiello​ and Stephen Adgemis​ handled the sale with Atholl Williams from Rutherfords Real Estate.

St Kilda

A local investor has swooped on a St Kilda development site, buying the prominent landholding for $2.3 million at auction. The sale of the three-storey building at 126-128 St Kilda Road reflected a land rate of $5275 per square metre, said CBRE’s Ed Wright, Mark Wizel and Joseph Du Rieu.


A 1960s warehouse at 28 Gwynne Street, renovated as an architect’s office, changed hands under the hammer for $1.389 million. The single-storey solid brick factory was sold by Ian Price of Dixon Kestles.


Banyule City Council has sold a single-level shop at 61 Main Street, for $1.15 million. The building was previously occupied by the Bendigo Bank, said Knight Frank’s Tim Grant and Ken Smirk. It follows the council selling another shop at 55-59 Main Street $5.1 million on a yield of 5.3 per cent.

Sunshine West

A self-managed super fund snapped up an industrial property at 570-572 Somerville Road for $2.72 million on a 7.7 per cent yield in a deal brokered by Savills ‘s Chris Jones, Ben Hegerty and Brigitte Bennett. The 4444-square-metre site sold subject to a new four-year lease to global tenant Schenck Process at rent of $215,000 a year net.

Noble Park

An investor has paid $4 million on a yield of 9 per cent for a securely leased office and warehouse at 428-430 Princes Highway. Savills ‘s Kosta Filinis and Paul Jones brokered the deal for Prudent Properties. It sold subject to a lease to E-Pak Packaging at a rental of $360,000 per annum.


An investor outmuscled a developer to secure a site owned by charity St Vincent De Paul for $2.1 million. Gross Waddell’s Alex Ham sold 254-258 Nepean Highway in conjunction with Beller Commercial’s Liam Rafferty. Vinnies currently occupies the two-storey retail outlet opposite of Edithvale Beach, which it sold along with a vacant neighbouring block.


A vacant two-storey building with ground-floor shop and first-floor office at 100-106 High Street in the heart of Cranbourne’s retail and commercial precinct sold under the hammer for $2.04 million in a campaign handled by Fitzroys’ Andrew Hewett and David Bourke.



Pellicano has secured one of south-east Melbourne’s largest commercial deals for the year with Visionstream taking 7600 square metres at its $500 million masterplanned Parkview Estate. The n and New Zealand telecommunications company committed to an entire office building within the 51-hectare estate.

Moonee Ponds

Fitzroys’ Jordan Ceppi has leased 605-625 Mt Alexander Road to organic produce store Greenline Organic for $75,000 per annum. Nearby, at 678 Mt Alexander Road, Mr Ceppi brokered a deal with new operator District North at the ex-Smok’n Joes site. The new Italian restaurant will take the 250-square-metre, double-fronted site for $74,000 a year.

Box Hill

Serco has expanded its operations in Box Hill with the addition of more than 4,000 square metres at the recently refurbished 990 Whitehorse Road on a six-year lease with options in a deal negotiated by Colliers International’s Kevin Tutty. Rental was understood to be in the vicinity of $400 a square metre (gross).


Fast-growing product development firm Hydrix is preparing to relocate to Mulgrave after leasing a stand-alone office building in Compark Circuit. CBRE’s Elise Betts and Gianni MacDonald negotiated the 2600-square-metre lease for an entire building at 30-32 Compark Circuit on a 10-year lease for net rent of $260 a square metre. Hydrix had outgrown its existing space and wanted something that would appeal to their predominantly younger workforce, Ms Betts said.


Suburban office rentals are showing signs of growth according to Prowse Burns’ Fred Bartlett. Suite 505 at at 685 Burke Road was leased on a one-by-one-year lease at the commencing rental of $23,850.00 a year gross plus GST. Suite 403 in the same building leased for $32,000.00 a year gross plus GST on a two-by-two-year lease. And Suites 305 and 306 were combined as one for $60,000.00 gross plus GST, equating to $480 a square metre gross and showing signs of positive rental growth over past leasings in the building, he said.

Port Melbourne

A light-filled office at at 3/30 Prohasky Street has leased to national technology group Powermove Distribution on a four-plus-three-plus-five-year deal for rental of of $50,000 a year in a deal negotiated by CBRE’s Guy Naselli and Harry Kalaitzis.

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David Gonski appointed to lead the Art Gallery of NSW board

David Gonski has served on the boards of countless companies and arts organisations, and led the Gonski review into how funds schools. Photo: Michel O’SullivanThe NSW government has turned to a man described as a “fixer” and the “chairman of everything” to lead the Art Gallery of NSW’s board of trustees.

David Gonski will take over as president of the gallery’s trust, replacing Guido Belgiorno-Nettis who is stepping down after his allotted three terms as a trustee.

It will be Mr Gonski’s second stint at the helm of the gallery’s trust following nine years as trust president from 1997 to 2006.

The appointment of Mr Gonski comes at a critical time for the gallery, which is asking the NSW government to fund the majority of the cost of its $450 million Sydney Modern new gallery wing.

However, several major arts institutions – n Museum, Powerhouse Museum – as well as arts centres in western Sydney are also bidding for money from the remainder of the NSW government’s $600 million cultural infrastructure fund.

The building plans have also become embroiled in controversy, with former prime minister Paul Keating criticising the proposed new gallery wing as a “land grab” entertainment complex “masquerading as art”.

Chancellor of the University of NSW, Mr Gonski will boost the gallery’s efforts to find corporate sponsors and philanthropists to back its controversial Sydney Modern building plans, according to the university’s Associate Professor Joanna Mendelssohn.

“He’s very good at encouraging people to give,” she said. “He’s very good at encouraging people to do things.”

The chairman of ANZ Bank and Coca-Cola Amatil, Mr Gonski has served on the boards of countless companies and arts organisations, and led the Gonski review into how funds schools are funded.

He has also been an advisor and board director of Westfield, whose founder Frank Lowy and co-chief executive Stephen Lowy have both previously served as presidents of the AGNSW’s board.

An exhibition space inside the Art Gallery is named the Lowy, Gonski Gallery.

The Herald’s art critic, John McDonald, described Mr Gonski as “a formidable businessman, a great fixer”, but said it was unusual for someone to get a second turn as trust president.

“Does this mean a reassertion of the Lowy dynasty, which has basically controlled the trustees for a long time at the Art Gallery of NSW?” he said.

He said Mr Gonski may have been brought back to the gallery to help guide the Sydney Modern project.

Arts Minister Troy Grant said in a press release that Mr Gonski’s expertise would benefit the trust in its advisory role to the gallery’s management team.

Mr Gonski was unavailable for comment but said in a press release he was thrilled to return to the gallery.

The gallery’s gain is the Sydney Theatre Company’s loss, with Mr Gonski ending his tenure as STC chairman in February.

STC general manager Patrick McIntyre said significantly increased levels of philanthropy had been a hallmark of Mr Gonski’s tenure.

“His wise counsel has been invaluable for the management team and board and he will be much missed,” he said.

Owen Pidgeon: How to grow great raspberries in Canberra for summer

One of the most delightful early summer treats is a dessert with a plateful of raspberries. This is a berry that you can grow in your home garden – sometimes with the help of your friends. And this is one berry that commands a premium at all retail outlets, so aim to grow your own.

You may have heard the old saying that a raspberry cane, once established, will spread and spread. My experience has been mixed, to say the least. Initially I had little success with canes purchased from nursery suppliers, I think because they had very poor root systems and a hot, dry summer is no good for establishing a new berry patch when the root systems are not mature – even if you remember to regularly water. Once the canes do being producing their thick mat of fibrous roots can become a long term powerhouse of production and they will keep fruiting for many years.

So we owe a special thanks to our niece Lesley Pidgeon who brought across several well established spring fruiting raspberry canes from her garden in Bathurst. Planted in a good location, we are now finally set up for the early summer harvest.

Then other good friends Bruce and Sheree Roe from McKellar dug out some of their surplus Heritage raspberry canes with wonderful sets of fibrous roots. These transplanted raspberries are growing strongly alongside our Autumn Bliss berries. So with everything progressing well now, we can now also enjoy a good supply of home grown raspberries for several months. Good gardening friends are indeed friends worth having.

Raspberries grow well in the cooler temperate regions, so Tasmania and the Canberra-Southern Highlands are very good locations. They will grow well in the same climate where you see cherries and apple orchards. When they are flowering and fruiting, keep them well watered, as the fruit needs plenty of water to fill out.

They are gross feeding plants so it is helpful to add in plenty of compost before planting and top up each spring time. Also keep them well mulched to cool the soil and retain the moisture from evening waterings. Our early summer fruiting canes are close to two metres with lots of little berries now appearing on the tips of the canes.

Most of the commercial varieties have been developed in north America, with the Chilcotin and Chilliwack early summer varieties being bred in the fertile valleys of British Columbia, just east of Vancouver.

Nootka is another high yielding variety for cooler climates. It came from the Vancouver Research Station. It will yield a good crop of medium-sized berries around Christmas time and then give you a supplementary Autumn flush. Williamette is the other dual cropping raspberry bred in Oregon, USA in the mid 1940s,

The Autumn fruiting varieties, such as the well known Heritage and Autumn Bliss raspberries are pushing up their new season canes right now. They will then produce their crop of berries on this season’s wood.

In wintertime, you can simply cut back all the canes of the autumn varieties to near ground level. On the other hand, you will need to leave the new season canes standing for the early summer raspberries varieties, as they set fruit on their two-year-old canes. This week in the garden

* Plant out rows of open leaf lettuce, bush beans, beetroot, bok choi and cucumbers.

* Harvest young tips of basil and sow another planter box of both basil and coriander for late summer supplies.

* Complete harvesting all garlic and check on the maturing of onions. If the onion bulbs are fully developed bend the stems over for a few days before harvesting.

* Regularly tie up the tomato stems to their stakes and pinch out laterals.

* Take the moment to complete mulching all garden beds before the Christmas break.

* Check apples for early signs of codling moth and remove any that have been infested, to prevent the second cycle.

Photo: Getty ImagesRaspberry and apple flan

2 punnets fresh raspberries 6 cooking apples 2 tbs sugar


125g unsalted butter 2 tbs castor sugar 1½ cups plain flour ¼ cup self raising flour 1 free range egg ¼ cup custard powder

Crumble topping:

½ cup rolled oats 1¼ cups plain flour ½ cup brown sugar 2 tsps cinnamon 90g butter

Peel, quarter and slice the apples. Place them into a stainless steel saucepan with ½ cup water and cook until tender. Drain and allow to cool.

Pastry: Cut the butter into small segments and place in a medium sized bowl. Add the sugar and beat with an electric beater until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. Add in the flours and the custard powder and mix in with a wooden spoon to form a smooth dough. Roll out the dough and line a 23 cm flan tin.

Topping: Combine the rolled oats, plain flour, sugar and cinnamon. Rub in the butter until it becomes a crumbly mixture.

Cover the flan dough base with the apple slices. Scatter the fresh raspberries across the apple and sprinkle the sugar over the fruit. Spread the topping over the fruit. Bake in oven set at 180C for approximately 45 minutes until pastry and crumble are golden brown.

Owen Pidgeon runs the Loriendale Organic Orchard near Hall.

Unpredictable second season of Transparent is still a cut above the rest

The cast of Transparent (left to right): Gaby Hoffman, Judith Light, Jay Duplass, Jeffrey Tambor and Amy Landecker. Photo: Monique FarmerThe launch of any television series is a calculated risk, and to some extent the most desired outcome is critical acclaim and a slew of awards. I say to some extent because such a win is often a poisoned chalice. Such success almost certainly catapults a show into a second season and then comes an even bigger, weirder hurdle: how on earth do you top an opening act like that?

Transparent (Stan, on demand) faces just such a hurdle for its second season, having sailed out of its first into almost universal acclaim and a display case that required extra shelves almost as quickly as the show’s US commissioning broadcaster, Amazon, could build them. The show took the very longest of bows, and scooped up Emmy Awards, Golden Globes and awards from the Director’s Guild and a bunch of other gong-giving bodies.

The opening season’s premise met Mort Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor), and came along on her journey as she revealed her actual self, Maura, to her family. It was quite simply beautiful. Seemingly caught in a perfect storm, it was bookended by stunning writing from series creator Jill Soloway, who didn’t so much base it on her own experience (and father) as borrow heavily, and a luminous performance from Tambor, an actor known mostly for his turns in sitcoms who brought an unexpected depth and humanity to this fragile individual.

Meeting Maura Pfefferman was genuinely altering. Not because she is a way of interpreting the transexual journey – although that, and all of the headlines her seemingly distant cousin Caitlyn Jenner created, are never far from the narrative. But because to some extent the question of trans identity is almost beside the point. Transparent uses transexuality as a means of exploring something far more fundamental: identity itself.

If something jars about the second season, it is that the spotlight has shifted slightly, and to some extent we now see the ensemble step more confidently into the frame.

That means more from Maura’s ex-wife Shelly (Judith Light), and angsty kids Sarah (Amy Landecker), Joshua (Jay Duplass) and Ali (Gaby Hoffmann). That feels very natural. This family has been through a fair amount, and the kids themselves have no shortage of their own issues. There is also a new and somewhat startling story thread, told in flashback, which we won’t elaborate on here, to preserve its authenticity.

One’s first instinct is to bristle at the change, and perhaps that’s why some critics have paused momentarily before offering their judgment on the second season. In truth, however, maybe we have to question our own willingness to embrace change, and our own approach to the shifting frame that Soloway has so spectacularly created.

Once you take a deep breath and surrender to the narrative, Transparent’s second season is delightfully bouncy. The writing is sharp, and the additional oxygen for some characters – notably Light’s Shelly – is very welcome.

While the show is undisputably Tambor’s, Light is brilliant. It would be hard to imagine Tambor without her.

The real strength of Transparent, however, lies with its unpredictability. It continually surprises, cleverly side-stepping moments that might otherwise slip on the creative banana peel of melodrama. That’s what keeps it a cut above the rest.