East Perth Officeworks
BECAUSE ALL HISTORY IS IMPORTANT series
The warehouse that was once home to the East Perth Officeworks is set on a 4,881m² block and became vacant towards the end of 2018. Sales history tends to vary from site to site and creditability is difficult to determine:
Sold on 17 November 1995 for $1.9 million back (a factory warehouse took up the entire property).
Sold in June 1999 for $3 million
Mostly demolished prior to 2000 (I've given up trying to locate what the building was, other than a 'bottle yard' at some point in time. Not to be confused with the bottle factory located nearby, at 40 Lord Street on the corner of Lord and Wellington Street).
Sold in June 2000 for $3 million
Sold on 6 October 2014 for $10,925,000
Listed for sale on 2 March 2015 from $365,000 (bullshit!!)
Listed for sale on 1 September 2020 for 2 days but not sold (onthehouse states 'listed for sale under offer')
Listed for sale on 23 March 2021
Listed for sale on 25 August 2021 for 30 days but not sold
Listed on 3 February 2022 but not sold
Sold on 23 June 2023 for $11,502,000 to Hesperia
The building we knew as Officeworks appears to have been built in 2000. It was sold to Pindan Capital, "the property fund management business of construction," and Ao Qing Investment on 6 October 2014 for $10,925,000.
Pindan was formed in 1977 by developers George Allingame and David Pringle.
They quickly put together a proposal for two nine-storey 214-apartment buildings at a cost of $55 million (expected to earn more than $100 million), releasing the plans in the second week of January, only three months after purchasing the site. Plans included three levels of car parking, ground floor commercial space, a 20-metre swimming pool with a sundeck and cabanas, residents' lounge, barbecue facilities, gym, relaxation zone and a herb garden. Approval for the development application for the apartments known as Alto, was expected to be given in the first quarter of the year, sales opening on April 8 and construction starting mid-year.
Compared to present day 2023, something definitely appears to have changed if it now takes an extensive amount of time to make any sort of fast progress with development applications, red tape bureaucracy and community consultation submissions. Notwithstanding the financial backing Pindan may have had available to them at the time to be in a position to fast-track a building proposal, particularly when considering the majority of apartment projects need to achieve a minimal amount of sales before they can proceed with construction.
Development approval for the 10-storey development with 214 apartments was given on February 2, 2016, although Business News reported it to have been approved in March 2015, with the standard two year period given for construction to begin. It's hard to find any information on where and how this extra apartment storey came in, nor how it became scaled down to eight storeys in October 2017, with new options for three-room apartments, whereas before it was only limited to one and two rooms.
The year 2017 had appeared to be quite tough for apartment sales, with what was described as "patchy sales" felt industry-wide. Many developers were said to be delaying their marketing campaigns until economic conditions began to improve. For Pindan Capital, as a result of not yet starting to construct Alto, their developmental approval expired mid-year.
During 2018, Pindan Group claimed to have a "temporary cash flow issue," despite raising $72 million when Singapore-listed developer Oxley Holdings acquired a 40% share of the company 18 months earlier. In October 2019, Oxley Holdings purchased the remaining shares of Pindan Group, taking full control of the company but it wouldn't be enough to keep Pindan afloat. More than 20 small construction companies had collapsed in recent years and the slow payments Pindan was making to subcontractors wasn't helping.
Pindan Group went into external administration in 2021 with more than 1,400 creditors owed somewhere between $70-80 million. At the time, they were involved in 68 active projects with approximately 280 employees, 500 subcontractors and 400 trade suppliers. Potential investors withdrawing from proposed opportunities were being blamed early on in the investigation. Liquidators were appointed to Pindan Group's nine entities: Pindan Capital, Pindan Capital Investments, Pindan Constructions, Pindan Constructions (NSW), Pindan Projects WA, Pindan Homes, Pindan Developments, Pindan Realty and Moselle Holdings.
Ray White Commercial listed the old Officeworks site for sale, selling it to Hesperia for $11,502,000 million on 23 March 2023.
Founded in 2020 by Ben Lisle and Adrian Fini, Hesperia means 'western land'. They are Western Australia's first Certified B Corporation in the property industry, which verifies their commitment to "maintaining the highest levels of social and environmental performance" with regard to their business models and operational activities which "positively impact on people, communities, environment and customers".
The Small Animal Specialist Hospital (SASH) signed a long-term lease to occupy the premises after Ray White Commercial brokered the deal through an expression of interest campaign and are expected to open their doors in early 2024.
Established in 2007, SASH operates four veterinary hospitals offering multi-disciplinary services in NSW and South Australia. All facilities are open 365 days a year, 24/7 with the East Perth location being the first hospital established outside the two states.
MyCar Tyre and Auto will continue to lease the north side of the building, where they've been since 2021. They had previously been known as Kmart Tyre & Auto Service, when rebranding began taking place from June 2019.
Alto Apartments (2015)
01 - January 2023
Ray White Commercial