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Oil Price

Top Ryde Shopping Centre

(1) Demolition of the old Top Ryde shopping centre and redevelopment of a new shopping centre

A DA was lodged by Bevillesta Pty Ltd in 2006 and approved by the Ryde Council in 2007

  • Two lower ground retail levels
  • One ground floor retail level at Devlin Street
  • Two levels above ground for retail, cinemas, community and other recreational uses
  • Carparking levels for the retail for 3025 cars. 

In December 2006 I wrote in my submission:

 ”To demolish an entire shopping center and build a completely new one is a bold step. It requires that all factors for a successful investment have been considered and that everything is right. And not just for the next years, but for several decades to come. It’s not only the architecture, the visual and functional aspects of designs, the desire for a new look, but the long-term economic viability and sustainability of the whole project.

Unfortunately, we live in changing times and we slowly realize that we cannot continue business as usual. And that Mother Nature will physically force us to observe her laws, no matter what our opinions are. Oil supplies, water shortages, crop failures, bush fires, global warming and sea level rises all represent factors which have to be considered when doing investments. This submission argues these issues have not been properly investigated in the current development proposal.”

I also attended a meeting of the Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel and warned NOT to pull down the old shopping centre and NOT to build 3,000 car spaces.

My submission can be downloaded here:

(2) Opening Ceremony August 2010

Gillard opens Top Ryde City

Revitalisation of Top Ryde City 

(3) Top Ryde Shopping Centre in financial problems 4 years after my submission

Debt-laden shopping centre for sale 


THE shopping centre tycoon who redeveloped Top Ryde Shopping Centre has been forced to put his debt-laden centre up for sale after pressure from his bankers.

The sale by the developer John Beville comes three months after the Prime Minister opened the shopping complex, and a day after one of his lenders said it expected it would not recover any part of its $110 million loan.

The centre, which contains a Myer department store, a Big W and dozens of other specialty stores, was touted to be worth $840 million three years ago. Yesterday it was put on the sale block with expectations of about $700 million.

A syndicate of banks are first in the queue to be repaid their loans from the proceeds, leaving second-tier lender Valad Property Group unlikely to recover anything due to a slump in the value of centres due to poor retail sales and rising interest rates.


SMH 17/11/2010


The decision by the troubled property group Valad (aka Invalid) to leave it until after its annual meeting to write off another chunk of its property portfolio has finally pushed one of its shareholders over the edge.

 ”This is the last straw as far as I’m concerned,” said Valad’s former managing director and founder, Barry Wynne, in reference to the company’s decision (without telling the market) to cut its $92 million mezzanine loan position on the Top Ryde shopping centre.

”The small shareholders, I think, can assemble a group because it’s obscene,” said Wynne, who has seen the value of his stake fall from about $8 million to about $250,000.

”This is the third year we’ve had no dividends and our asset backing has dropped again.”

He has expressed outrage not only at the company’s falling fortunes but also its ballooning pay packets. While Gerber saw his chairman’s and consulting fees from Valad rise 70 per cent to $680,000 last financial year, Valad’s managing director, Peter Hurley, recently received a $1.88 million retention payment. Hurley’s annual base wage of $799,000 is still up from the $299,425 he was paid in his first full financial year at Valad, 2003-04.

The Valad director Robert Seidler also enjoyed a 135 per cent rise in consulting and director fees to about $400,000 last financial year.

Even if the shopping centre is sold successfully, the saga has not ended yet. We are going to enter a period of declining oil production, the next phase of peak oil.

The era of big, car based shopping centres is over.