Simon Johanson

Simon Johanson

Property Editor at The Age and BusinessDay journalist for Fairfax's,, and

VCAT challenges design of skinny Queen Street tower

Simon Johanson A developers' bid to push the boundaries of buildings that can be squeezed on to CBD sites has hit a planning wall.

VicRoads drives wedge through ISPT's Packenham estate

Simon Johanson VicRoads has driven a wedge through ISPT's new Pakenham Racecourse estate effectively annexing part of the site for road widening works.

Telstra offloads suburban development sites in Melbourne

A Healesville office leased to VicForests is being sold by Telstra.

Simon Johanson Four properties in Healesville, Armadale, Reservoir and Coburg are on offer.

Deague family sells Bell City hotel complex in Melbourne to Bill Moss

Simon Johanson Bill Moss's listed Elanor ­Investors Group has bought the Melbourne-based Deague family's Bell City hotel and conference centre in Preston for $142.875 million.

Pie Face collapse: Prime sites sought after

Sad Pie Face

Simon Johanson Keen interest is being shown in Pie Face shop sites following the chain's collapse.


Pie Face stores start to close in Victoria, NSW

Pie Face stores have begun to shut down just days after the company went into administration.

Madeleine Heffernan and Simon Johanson A week after the fast-food chain's collapse, administrators start closing stores in Victoria and NSW.

Cost benefits of natural gas fires up taxi industry

Good value: Tuyen Hua, left, of OES CNG SmartGas, watches as Eastmorr Taxis driver Robert Howard fuels up.

Simon Johanson A small suburban taxi company is leading a radical change in fuel use and reaping big cost benefits which could be adopted across the sector.

Zagame Group and PDG top building refurbishment with Audi showroom

Simon Johanson The opening of Audi's glitzy new five-level Melbourne showroom has crowned the Zagame Group and PDG's joint venture to revamp the distinctive 19-storey hexagonal building in Swanston Street, formerly...

Tower Melbourne planning fight threatens investor funds

Developer scrap: Colonial Range is trying to get CEL Australia's planning permit cancelled for the 71-storey Tower Melbourne.

Simon Johanson Millions of dollars in deposits from hundreds of apartment owners in Melbourne’s most controversial skyscraper might need to be repaid if a rival developer succeeds in getting the super...

New Carlton apartment set to replace public housing

Simon Johanson Australand and the Department of Human Services have submitted plans for a 9-storey apartment block, part of the rejuvenation of Carlton's run-down public housing precinct.

Property industry biggest employer in Victoria, pays most tax: report

Simon Johanson A Property Council report has found the industry contributed $25 billion of the state's $280 billion in economic activity in the 2013 financial year.

Villawood Properties expands in Geelong and interstate

Simon Johanson Twenty-five years on, Villawood Properties continues to add to its impressive land bank.

Profit drop for Central Equity as new entrants hit returns of local developers

Simon Johanson and Nicole Lindsay Melbourne developers are competing with offshore operators for sites in the city and the suburbs as international buyers spend big.

Philanthropist Phil Wollen's Kindness House attracts record price

Simon Johanson The Brunswick Street building called Kindness House in Fitzroy owned by former Citibank vice president and philanthropist Phil Wollen has changed hands for $15 million.

Project slowdown hits Daniel Grollo's Grocon

The new Emporium shopping complex has driven more foot traffic through Melbourne Central.

Simon Johanson Daniel Grollo's high-profile Grocon Group has recorded a substantial loss after a drop in active projects and delays in getting new ones off the ground.

China FTA warms up prospects for Montague Cold Storage


Simon Johanson One of Australia’s largest cold storage businesses will see a 30 per cent boost in exports over the next four years now the China free trade agreement is signed.

Melbourne University starts moving on Royal Women’s Hospital site

The former Royal Women's Hospital in Carlton.

Simon Johanson After letting it sit idle for six years, one of the city's biggest landowners Melbourne University has moved to rezone and redevelop the former Royal Women's Hospital site.

Brady Group push to develop 80-level Queen Street tower

Simon Johanson One of the Melbourne's more enduring family-owned development companies has lodged plans for a soaring 80-level city skyscraper, adding to the long list of 43 proposals to be considered by whatever...

Hilton's name parked name in favour of Pullman hotels

Familiar landmark: The Hilton on the Park, opposite the MCG, will soon have a new name.

Simon Johanson The well-known Hilton on the Park opposite the Melbourne Cricket Ground will change its name to Pullman Melbourne on the Park after being taken over.

Melbourne's office market sales hit new highs despite vacancy rates

Simon Johanson A spike in activity in Melbourne's CBD fringe office market has seen a record $1.58 billion in transactions over the year to September, as yields firm by up to 50 basis points across the broader...