Ben Hurley Reporter

Ben covers the property industry and has a keen interest in entrepreneurship and travel writing. He speaks Mandarin and previously covered housing and urban affairs for The Australian Financial Review.

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Chinese developer Datong pins hopes on Chinese buyers for Adelaide apartment project

Published 08 April 2013 11:40, Updated 09 April 2013 11:11

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Chinese developer Datong pins hopes on Chinese buyers for Adelaide apartment project

Chinese developer Datong has pre-sold half of the 96 Aria apartments at the parkland end of Adelaide’s Gouger Street. Photo: Fairfax Media

China-based developer Datong expects Chinese buyers to underpin demand for a pipeline of 1000 apartments it intends to build in Adelaide.

Bulldozers have arrived at a site it owns on Gouger Street near Chinatown and construction of a $36 million apartment building called Aria will begin this week.

Simon DeWitt, a senior salesperson at Century 21 which is marketing the project, says half of the project’s 96 apartments have sold off the plan. About half of those sold were to buyers from mainland China, he said.

The developer has bought four sites in Adelaide, DeWitt says, which it hopes will yield 1000 apartments. One of the buildings will have a hotel as well.

“[Datong] really believe the mining boom will happen and that has a lot to do with Adelaide,” DeWitt says, citing the stalled Olympic Dam project. “It’s been shelved for a bit but it will go ahead,” he says.

Datong is based in Kunming, a relatively small city of five million people in China’s Yunnan province. Its chairman Jin Liang has invested in or developed more than 14 projects in China, including the 6 billion yuan (A$930 million), 2.1 million square metre Zhaotong mixed use project in Yunnan. Another Yunnan project completed in 2008 – Dali – involved an investment of 1.86 billion yuan (A$290 million) and covered 800,000 square metres.

After Aria it plans to build another block of apartments on Waymouth Street then commence construction of 123Flinders, which at 75 metres will be Adelaide’s tallest residential building.

DeWitt says permanent residency considerations are a major part of Chinese buyers making the decision to invest in Adelaide.

“There’s other developments on the go as we speak, but Aria is certainly very unique in the way it will be constructed,” DeWitt says. “They call it a living, breathing building. It will have a big void in the middle with the air to flow through and energy-wise, it will be one of the better rated ones in the city.”