Jewel developer offloads another major asset

Yuhu Group, the developer behind the Gold Coast’s Jewel and Sydney’s One Circular Quay projects, has sold another major asset ahead of a judgement by the NSW corruption watchdog over the actions of former chairman Xiangmo Huang.

The 20 Berry Street tower at North Sydney was sold to private developer Holdmark for $114 million within two weeks of going on the market.

Mr Huang’s Australian residency visa was cancelled last year on character grounds, and in October the Australian Tax Office froze his assets after issuing Huang with a $140 million tax bill and accusing him of establishing complicated business structures to thwart efforts to recover money from him.

The Chinese billionaire is a former donor to both the Australian Liberal and Labor parties and is under investigation by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption over alleged undisclosed political donations.

The Urban Developer reports the latest property sale follows Yuhu’s offload of a half share in One Circular Quay and Jewel for $575 million last year, part of an expected $1.1 billion asset offload by the group.

Huang passed chairmanship of the Yuhu Group to his son, Jimmy, at the end of last year and is no longer a shareholder or participant in the company.

The future of the One Circular Quay development, described by The Guardian Australia as “nothing more than a hole in some of Sydney’s most expensive dirt”, remains unclear.

Planning permission remains for two Kerry Hill Architects-designed towers encompassing more than 300 luxury apartments and a hotel at the prime harbourside address on the corner of George Street and Alfred streets.

Huang is reported to have retained the development rights, but its ownership and development plans remain unclear.

Work is meanwhile nearing completion on the triple-tower Jewel, Australia’s largest beachfront mixed-use development.

It’s ownership is also hard to ascertain, but the interior fit-out of at least two of the DBI-designed towers has been under way for some time, and international brand Langham has been chosen to operate the five-star hotel in the third tower of the glitzy development.

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