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Australian Financial Review : October 17th 2006
FBA 054 M2 M7 Moto r way Arndell Park M7/M4 Interchange Cairns Student Lodge OFFERS INVITED Our Knowledge is your Property www.colliers.com/australia Major Land Parcel, South West EOI 51 St Andrews Road, Leppington • Outstanding opportunity to land bank or redevelop with potential 245 lot subdivision with council consent • Identi ed growth region as per gazetted SEPP (Sydney Growth Centre 2006) • Site area: 13 hectares approximately • Advised by KWC Capital Partners Justin Brown Marc Lucas 0412 265 323 0407 704 675 02 9257 0252 02 9257 0286 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org www.colliersresidential.com Featured on www.colliers.com.au/68097 Expressions of Interest closing Thursday 9 November 2006 EOI 42 Lamb Street, Glendenning • Building area: 9,200m2 (approx.) of ce/warehouse • $966,000 per annum net (GST exc.) income stream • Room to expand building area • Suit owner occupiers and investors • Flexible industrial zoning Jack Moroney 0402 124 802 02 9840 0207 email@example.com Featured on www.colliers.com.au/69440 For sale by Expressions of Interest closing on Thursday 30 November 2006 Industrial / Short-term Income *approx Property & Business • 78 unit strata title complex. Capacity 234 students • 11,824m2 land with 200m street frontage • 400m to JCU via paved pathways and roads • Central to shopping centres, beaches, sports grounds etc • 76 accommodation units, 3-4 bedrooms • Student Centre with dining hall, conference room, kitchen, pool, volley ball court, BBQ area, gardens etc • Management available Featured on www.colliers.com.au/69163 Offers close 4pm Wednesday, 15 November 2006 Ian Beattie 0408 770 888 07 4031 3443 firstname.lastname@example.org U70291 The Australian Financial Review Tuesday 17 October 2006 www.afr.com 54 PROPERTY John Hindmarsh says his goal has been to 'aggressively embrace the market opportunities'. Photo: ANDREW TAYLOR For Hindmarsh the road leads John Hindmarsh is tapping into China's love affair with cars and its changing socioeconomics with a portfolio of car parks and retirement villages, writes Kathryn House. '' I don't think anyone going into China can do it on their own.'' Two decades ago, Canberra property veteran John Hindmarsh was among the first tourists to visit China as the communist state opened its doors to the West. Today he is at the forefront of a new charge into China by businesses keen to tap into one of the world's emerging economic powerhouses. In the past four years, his Hindmarsh Group has amassed a major car-parking portfolio in China after aligning itself with Kingdy Parking, Beijing's largest private car park operator. Within four years, Hindmarsh expects to have as many as 400,000 parking spaces under management in five cities as China's love affair with cars puts an estimated 1 million new vehicles on the road each year. And it is not just car parks in Hindmarsh's sites. Within the next 12 months, Hindmarsh hopes to open its first retirement village in Shanghai to tap into what is one of the fastest growing property sectors in Australia but still a very embryonic market in China. ''There's a great social change going on,'' says Hindmarsh. ''The one-child family results in a large number of grandparents being supported by a smaller number of children.'' For the wealthy Chinese, particularly those in the political arena, Hindmarsh says this has resulted in a shift away from the traditional nuclear family support network. Hindmarsh wants to be at the forefront of that shift. Hindmarsh has aligned itself with a Chinese partner ± one which has already been a joint venture partner in one of the company's Australian projects ± to develop retirement villages throughout the region. The first is expected to open next year in Shanghai and will accommodate about 400 units. At the same time, Hindmarsh is pursuing ambitious plans for its China parking business. Hindmarsh already manages and/ or owns about 11,000 parking spaces in Australia under its Ezi Park banner. In the past four years, it has built a 40,000-strong car space business in China, which it expects to increase tenfold by the end of the decade. It has not been all smooth sailing. Hindmarsh admits that with the Chinese, particularly government officials, not ''exactly happy about paying parking fees'', the company has put a strong emphasis on introducing the sophisticated equipment it uses in its Australian car parks so customers feel like ''they're getting something for their money''. While all its parking equipment is manufactured in Europe, Hindmarsh wants to establish its own capability in China and potentially import equipment to Australia. For Hindmarsh, the key to success in China has been finding the right partners. ''I don't think anyone going into China can do it on their own,'' he says. ''What you might agree even in one district in Beijing might be completely different in another. ''You really need someone who understands the political environment . . . there's a fair bit of trust involved.'' Another key for Hindmarsh was hiring a key Australian-Chinese employee to help bridge the cultural and business boundaries. ''Without having someone of that nature on board I wouldn't even have contemplated China.'' Being from Canberra has also been of significant benefit in his eyes. ''The Chinese see it as the political heart of Australia and they put some reliance on that relationship,'' says Hindmarsh. The Australian Capital Territory government has given the company a subsidy under which it allows ACT companies ± mostly university groups ± to use its Beijing and Shanghai offices. For Hindmarsh, the expansion into China is all about diversification. Like many businesses, the private Hindmarsh Group flew close to the wind in the early 1990s when the Australian property market collapsed. The saving grace for the group, which was founded in 1979 as a construction company, was its American property interests. Before the market tanked, Hindmarsh had bought 500 US condominiums. With the US property market recovering before Australia's, Hindmarsh was able to renovate and on-sell the units and cover its local commitments. ''It saved our bacon,'' says Hindmarsh. ''It took five years to crawl out of the hole. Like just about everybody in the property industry I was heavily overstretched by the early 1990s. ''You can either sink or you can swim. The survival decision is a pretty easy one.'' Architecture was Hindmarsh's