One of China’s top three real estate developers, Country Garden, has started work at its second major Australian project, the 4,700 lot Windemere estate in Melbourne.
Country Garden Australia chief executive Guotao Hu was joined by Richie Ward from construction partner BMD Urban to officially turn the first sod at the community, which is located around 38 kilometres west of Melbourne’s CBD.
Dr Hu said the start of works was an “exciting time” for Country Garden, which was last month named the world’s second most valuable brand in property by global research group Brand Finance.
“Delivering large-scale mixed-use masterplanned house and land communities is what Country Garden is renowned for around the world, and Windermere is our first foray into this asset class into Australia,” Dr Hu said.
“We’re really keen to showcase our unique skillset and expertise in Australia with this scale of project delivery, and the commencement of stage one is an important first step for Windermere.”
Country Garden met immediate success earlier this year at the launch of the first stage of lots of Windermere, with all 43 lots available sold in the first three weeks of marketing.
The developer said that more than 3,000 people had registered their interest at Windermere, while more than 260 lots have been sold to date.
Amenities at Windermere include three public schools and a private school, a community centre, indoor recreation centre, childcare facilities plus sporting ovals to suit AFL and cricket alongside netball courts.
“It’s been designed to enrich every part of its residents’ lives and will be an outstanding landmark community that we will use to showcase our speciality for years to come,” Dr Hu said.
Founded in 1992 in Foshan, Guangdong Province, Country Garden employs more than 70,000 people and is owned by one of the richest families in China, the Keung family.
The developer has more than 1,500 projects under construction and is active in more than 300 cities around the world.
Its first Australian project was luxury apartment tower Ryde Garden, a $550 million development located on Sydney’s lower north shore, which is currently under construction.
Being built under a $264 million contract by local contractor Watpac, Ryde Garden comprises three apartment towers of 13, 23 and 27-storeys, totalling 830 dwellings and 2,100 square metres of public open space.
Designed by Bates Smart, Ryde Garden is one of the largest residential projects in Sydney’s development history.