Tuesday, 11 January 2011
The receivers immediately moved onto site to complete the construction, management, leasing and sale of the landmark project.
Raine Square consists of 44,000 square metres of office space over 20 levels and 13,000 square metres of retail space over three levels.  Other features include a tunnel connection to the new William Street train station, a 227-bay public car park and 650-seat food court on ground level at one of Perth’s busiest intersections. The development meshes into existing heritage facades and two hotels on the site.
Raine Square was being developed by Westgem Investments Pty Ltd, jointly owned by prominent developer Mr Luke Saraceni of Saracen Properties and an associate, Mr Hossean Pourzand.  Mr Mentha said the project began in 2006 and the original proposed completion date was late 2009.  However, the development had been affected by several delays and cost increases, including a seven-month delay last year when the original construction company stopped work.
Probuild, the replacement building company appointed in September 2010 is making good progress and the Receivers are planning to work with them to complete the construction work by July this year, Mr Mentha said.  Tunnel works should be completed by 2012.
Mr Mentha said: “Given the history of the project, the receivership will provide certainty to the builders, the contractors, financiers, the retail tenants and leaseholders.”
The retail precinct is approximately 70 per cent leased.  “One of our first priorities will be to call a meeting of tenancies to reassure them that from their perspective it is business as usual,” Mr Mentha said. The office space in the project will be leased by BankWest, one of the project’s financiers.  BankWest is planning to move about 3,000 employees to Raine Square in early 2012.
Mark Mentha is a principal in KordaMentha, one of Australia’s leading corporate recovery and restructuring firms.  His fellow receiver, Cliff Rocke, from KordaMentha’s Perth office, has more than 23 years’ experience in corporate recovery and insolvency.  He is a specialist in property and construction.