• 23 NOVEMBER 2016

Local developer Tony Huang has big plans for the Daily Planet brothel building in Elsternwick, which his company has bought for $12.66 million.

Mr Huang's firm last week won a series of three separate consecutive auctions covering three different land titles: one for the Daily Planet brothel and the others for two adjoining buildings.

Gross Waddell agents Alex Ham and Benjamin Klein, who conducted the rapid-fire auctions, said they attracted a crowd of 200 people.

While each property sold separately, combined they fetched a land rate of $10,218 per square metre, Mr Ham said.

"We believe this to be a record land rate for the Elsternwick vicinity," he said.

The Daily Planet was owned by Australia's only ASX-listed strip club.

The brothel owner, Planet Platinum, was tipped into administration last year after the Australian Securities and Investment Commission alleged a string of serious governance breaches against its founder John Trimble, the nephew of notorious underworld figure Robert Trimbole.

Mr Huang arrived in Australia from Shanghai in 1996 and began developing small townhouse sites in Waverley before venturing into larger projects under the Auyin Developments banner in 2006.

The first of those was the redevelopment of the Northcote Pottery site in Thornbury.

From there the business progressed to a 97-apartment, 44-townhouse project in White Street, Mordialloc, and a three-storey, 330-apartment complex with office and retail space at 212 Bay Street, in Sandringham.

The value of all projects by Auyin so far is about $250 million with the Daily Planet complex expected to be about $50 million.

"We plan to do 10-plus storeys. A mix of retail, office and maybe some serviced and luxury penthouse-style apartments overlooking Port Phillip Bay," Mr Huang said.

Syndicate capital and private funding from China underpin most of the group's projects, with supplementary funding from local banks.

"Local banks also need to play a major role. All the construction funds come from the local banks," he said.

Melbourne's population growth and lower median houses prices compared to Sydney were still underpinning demand, he said.

"From what we have done, we find the market still really strong," he said.

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