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Hot from the AFR:

Listed developer Mirvac will vie with super fund Cbus Property to develop the $2 billion Treasury Square mixed-use project at the eastern end of the Melbourne CBD, after the state government narrowed the shortlist to two preferred parties.

The prized site sits beside Flinders Street just above the rail yards and is controlled by state agency VicTrack. On one side it overlooks Treasury Gardens and state Parliament. On the other side, any prospective development would look out over the Yarra River and parkland beyond.

The site has been highly sought, with 11 interested parties subsequently narrowed to a shortlist of four, including Brookfield and a joint bid from Dexus-John Holland.

"Cbus Property and Mirvac are currently selected as the two preferred bidders to explore the opportunity with the Victorian government to purchase and develop Treasury Square, following unprecedented interest in the site from national and international organisations," a VicTrack spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

The process has been managed by Colliers International managing director of capital markets John Marasco and an EY team headed by partner Richard Bowman.

Bidding for the site is understood to hover around $500 million. Mirvac and Cbus Property are due to lodge their best and final offers in July.

On industry estimates, the site could potentially deliver a mix of upper-end apartments along with commercial real estate, with an end value of as much as $2 billion.

Treasury Square is a site south of Melbourne's Flinders Street that offers a link to a future Federation Square East redevelopment.

A preferred developer would need to factor in the cost of a deck stretching out from the sloping land, along with the difficulties, costs and risks involved with working on land next to a rail yard with major infrastructure in place.

Cbus Property and Mirvac have a substantial track record for both commercial development in the CBD – both players have big Collins Street office towers in development or completed – as well as upmarket apartment projects completed nearby.

As it does its bit to prime the local economy, the Victorian government this week approved a slew of developments with an estimated $2.5 billion in end value.

Construction also began this week on a $440 million residential skyscraper in the CBD. The 65-storey tower is being developed by ICD Property in joint venture with MaxCap Group.
 

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Pie in the sky but how good would it be to have Flinders Street Station redeveloped, redo the boring Federation Square and to top it off go along with Fed Square East!

State wants to create jobs - that'd do it! One thing about this pandemic is it has really opened the eyes of everyone to just how important open public space is. This would make Melbourne 10x better in my opinion.
 

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Construction also began this week on a $440 million residential skyscraper in the CBD. The 65-storey tower is being developed by ICD Property in joint venture with MaxCap Group.

Obviously referring to Aspire at 299 King Street....
 

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Fed Square is fine, the Metro station construction has messed it up a bit, but that's temporary.

This is sad though! :cry:
Famous Melbourne cake shop for sale after business collapse
Cara Waters, May 26, 2020 — 11.45pm

Melbourne institution the Hopetoun Tea Rooms is for sale in a last ditch bid to save the famous cake store after it collapsed into administration earlier this month.

Owner Kelly Koutoumanos said she hoped it did not spell the end for the Hopetoun Tea Rooms, which has been trading since 1892 in the Block Arcade.

Generations of Melburnians have queued up over the years at the tea rooms for a cup of tea, piece of cake and slice of history.

"The next purchaser would be silly to change it in any way, what people love is that it is unique," Ms Koutoumanos said. "I’m heartbroken, that’s the honest truth. I ran it with my family, my husband and children, and it has been our life. I never wanted to be in this situation."
 

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Fed Square is fine, the Metro station construction has messed it up a bit, but that's temporary.

This is sad though! :cry:
Famous Melbourne cake shop for sale after business collapse
Cara Waters, May 26, 2020 — 11.45pm

Melbourne institution the Hopetoun Tea Rooms is for sale in a last ditch bid to save the famous cake store after it collapsed into administration earlier this month.

Owner Kelly Koutoumanos said she hoped it did not spell the end for the Hopetoun Tea Rooms, which has been trading since 1892 in the Block Arcade.

Generations of Melburnians have queued up over the years at the tea rooms for a cup of tea, piece of cake and slice of history.

"The next purchaser would be silly to change it in any way, what people love is that it is unique," Ms Koutoumanos said. "I’m heartbroken, that’s the honest truth. I ran it with my family, my husband and children, and it has been our life. I never wanted to be in this situation."
Sadly the damage was done well before the pandemic... hope they're saved, best scones!!
 

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David Jones has sold it's Bourke st store.

DJs has swapped contracts with a buyer and expects to have the deal wrapped up within months, the retailer’s parent company has revealed.

“The sale price achieved is in line with expectations and final settlement is anticipated before the end of July,” Woolworths Holdings said in a statement.

The buyer of the store, which was expected to fetch more than $100 million, has not been named.

-HUN
 

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Some words from RBA Boss.

Downturn may not be as severe as predicted

The economic downturn from coronavirus may not be as severe as predicted, Reserve Bank boss Philip Lowe says.

Dr Lowe has told a Senate inquiry Australia’s recovery largely depends on when the public regains its confidence in their health and finances. “With the national health outcomes better than earlier feared, it’s entirely possible the economic downturn will not be severe as earlier thought,” he told the hearing on Thursday.

“Even as the recovery gets under way, as it will, there will still be a shadow cast over our economy by the pandemic.

“And as a country we’ll need to turn our minds as how to best move out of that shadow.”

Dr Lowe says more job losses are expected but not as bad as the figures from April, where nearly 600,000 jobs were lost in the month.

He described those figures as “shocking”, but not as bad as predicted.Industries that kept employers during the start of the pandemic will now start to struggle as their pipeline of work dries up, Dr Lowe added.
 
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