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In 1969 Hayson Associates Sales was established to market home units in the fledgling Sydney development industry. It quickly became become established as one of the market leaders in large volume sales of new and used strata title home unit blocks and home unit sites. Together with Hamilton & Company, Hayson Associates Sales was one of the largest marketers of home unit projects in Sydney at that time.

Australia's first super high-rise
apartment building Golden Gate
Surfers Paradise

In 1971 the Hayson Group development company was formed. The company assembled a number of sites for high-rise strata title unit developments adjacent to the Northern Shore Railway Line in Artarmon. The Hayson Group developed some of these sites itself and maintained the impetus by selling the remaining sites to other developers, such as the fledgling Meriton. Their activities acted as a catalyst for a whole new residential market. In only four years over 30 projects had been successfully completed, firmly establishing Artarmon as a major multi-unit area and Hayson as one of Sydney’s largest developers.

Then in 1972, the group constructed the 33 storey Golden Gate development on Queenslands Gold Coast, Australia’s first super high-rise serviced strata title apartment complex. During this period, the group also continued to develop and sell many strata title apartment complexes in Sydney.

In 1974, the group introduced a new dimension to the Australian property market by developing the process of residential strata conversion on a large scale. Purchasing numerous older-style large apartment properties in run-down but well located areas. The company then extensively renovated the apartments and divided them into strata title units sold at competitive prices. Many thousands of apartments were converted and sold in this way. This process ensured entire inner Sydney suburbs were rejuvenated. The process of strata title conversion of flats has now spread throughout Australia and is an established sector of the property market.

By 1978, the group with its interest and expertise in refurbishment extended its activities into commercial, as well as residential property. The Group acquired large areas of underdeveloped inner city property which enabled it to master plan its redevelopment independently and in conjunction with other major developers. The 3.25-hectare Palisades site on the eastern boundary of Sydney’s business district at Darlinghurst, East Sydney, was the first of several similar developments. What was a run-down and largely vacant area is today a mixture of luxury strata titled apartments, shops, offices and restaurants accommodating over 2,000 residents and business people.

In 1980 the group was one of the first to refurbish inner city office buildings and convert them to strata title. This enabled small businesses to purchase their own commercial premises and allowed small investors to buy CBD property, previously the preserve of large investors. The successful strata conversion, and sale of Beanbah Chambers, Park House and Windeyer Chambers in the CBD’s medical and legal sector, are examples of Hayson’s initiative at this time. Today, strata conversion of office space is an established sector of the Australian commercial property market and Hayson is credited as being an initiator of this process.

About this time, Hayson acquired the historic mansion “Boomerang” in Billyard Avenue, Elizabeth Bay along with 1 hectare of waterfront land. The property was subdivided and resold with “Boomerang” itself sold at $1.05 million and Australian record.

1981 saw the beginning of the acquisition of large, centrally located disused warehouses for conversion to other uses. The value of the properties was enhanced by the combination of refurbishment expertise and the obtaining of a change of use to offices, retail and car parking, with strata title being a significant benefit. The group was the first to recognise this opportunity and over 280,000 m² of warehouse space was developed in this way.

At the same time, Hayson introduced the loft concept to Sydney, building the first prototype in a disused warehouse in Ultimo to convince the market of its salability. Succeeding in this, the company went on to develop the first true loft apartment complex in the Jaguar Bryson building in Woolloomooloo.

In 1985, The Hayson Group extended its activities into large-scale retail development. The New South Wales Government appointed the group as the first private developer in Sydney’s huge $2billion Darling Harbour project. The contract was won by tender and a 15,000 m² retail project, Harbourside, was constructed.

Ian Hayson with the Queen at the
opening of Harbourside Darling Harbour
The group, through Merlin Australia, completed the Skygarden retail and office project in the Sydney CBD in 1990 for which it was awarded “The Best Development in the World” from the United States International Council of Shopping Centres. This accolade was received over other entries from such countries as England, France and the USA. In 1991 the group completed the Manly Wharf retail re-development at Manly.

From 1991 to 1995, the group returned to its grass root activities of purchasing existing apartment blocks and recycling them as strata apartments. Some 25 buildings were processed in this way at the time. During this period the group also saw the need for inner city car parking. They converted disused warehouse space and developed several major CBD car parks.

As the property market improved, group activity was stepped up during 1996 with new joint venture projects. Some 160 new inner city apartments were constructed and sites for another 1,000 units were bought and sold.

The group continued to pursue retail re-development with the purchase in 1997 of the Kogarah Town Shopping Centre (a major sub-regional shopping centre), the Metropole Shopping Centre at Cremorne in 1998 and the Southpoint Shopping Centre, Hillsdale in 1999.

During 2000 and 2001 the group purchased several existing buildings, the Top of the Town Hotel in Darlinghurst, a 16 storey office building in Francis St, East Sydney and The Crescent Hotel in Bayswater Rd, Kings Cross. Over the next few years, they developed the Top of the Town Hotel into luxury apartments and an outstanding penthouse and the Francis Street building into the progressive urban apartment project Lumina with joint venture partners. Both projects sold out with unprecedented speed and attained record prices per m² for the area. Hayson also renovated and strata titled the Crescent Hotel, selling 24 studios and 46 one-bedroom apartments, and all the car spaces to investors. It’s most recent endeavor has been the re-development of 36,000 m² in two heritage listed wool stores in Pyrmont to create M Central, Australia’s first loft metropolis consisting 164 apartments and 341 car spaces.
Over the past 40 years The Hayson Group of Companies has been at the forefront of property development, identifying new areas of opportunity and innovatively designed projects. The Hayson Group prides itself on its longevity, strong industry reputation and superior product.
Era on Springfield and The Village Centre
  Era on Springfield and The Village Centre
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