Steve Aitchison

Steve Aitchison

Partner / Principal

Melbourne


Personal Experience

With over 35 years in the profession, Steve has accumulated a wide range of skills and extensive experience in all aspects of real estate, property development and construction.

Steve has acted for clients in both the private and public sectors (state and local government) and his experience includes working on small, medium and large scale commercial, retail and residential development projects, social housing projects, public private partnerships (social infrastructure), retail and commercial leasing and a range of other real estate transactions.

Steve has negotiated and advised on a wide range of development delivery and management agreements, design consultancy and construction agreements, joint venture and other co-ownership agreements and development funding and security agreements representing both lenders and borrowers.

His broad knowledge of all the interconnected aspects of real estate transactions and development projects, including structuring, duty, construction, funding and leasing make Steve a highly valued resource to the firm’s clients.

Examples of Steve’s experience in the private and public sectors are set out below.

Private sector

  • sale and leaseback of the former CUB headquarters building in Southbank, including preparation and negotiation of sale contract and lease terms
  • negotiating lease terms for other CUB premises including warehouse premises and new office headquarters in Freshwater Place, Southbank
  • acting on the sale of a number of shopping centers including Healesville Walk Shopping Centre and assisting with lease reviews, due diligence and other issues in connection with acquisition of Waverley Gardens Shopping Centre (acquisition of shares and units in the owner entity)
  • representing ISPT in preparing and negotiating numerous retail Agreements for Lease and Leases in Melbourne and Sydney
  • negotiating development and lease agreements for new build industrial premises (warehousing and dispatch) with specialized tenant requirements, and for a purpose designed, state of the art, galvanizing facility
  • representing Melbourne Seafood Centre in lease negotiations for a purpose built wholesale fish market in Kensington, including establishment of the holding company, shareholder’s agreement and stall holder sub-leases
  • acting for a number of private investment funds in relation to the acquisition and disposal of investment and development property assets in Victoria and associated leasing work
  • representing a REIT in relation to the acquisition, development delivery and leasing of child care assets
  • representing a number of substantial Chinese development groups in relation to greenfield acquisitions and residential subdivision projects, including advice on contract terms, FIRB issues, development management and delivery arrangements, early access and civil works
  • advising and assisting small to medium private family real estate investors and developers in relation to a range of assets across Australia, including acquisitions, development, leasing and disposals
  • representing a hotel developer in relation to proposed projects involving acquisition, development, branded hotel and entertainment facility operations, including IP licensing arrangements, operating agreements and leasing
  • representing a major bank as tenant in a substantial commercial new build in Melbourne with integrated fitout
  • preparing and negotiating construction contracts for a range of projects in Adelaide and Melbourne, including engineering and civil works for residential subdivisions, small to medium residential development projects and large commercial/office buildings, and preparation and negotiations of associated project documents including consultant engagement agreements, development and project management agreements, builder side deeds and security documents
  • preparation of finance and security documents for development projects, representing lenders and borrowers, including representing Cbus Property in relation to a number of substantial development funding deals and portfolio term facilities, and representing a mezzanine development funder on a range of suburban residential projects
  • on behalf of banks and non-bank lenders to development projects, reviewing construction contracts and advising on risks for the lender, and preparation/negotiation of builder side deeds, reviewing and advising on pre-sale contracts and coordinating other real estate conditions for draw down.

Public sector

  • representing City of Wyndham in relation to its catalyst projects involving documenting the sale, construction and leasing arrangements for the Gateway site and advising on a range of issues related to the delivery of that project and other development projects
  • representing DHHS (formerly DHS) in relation to the Ashton Chadstone Gateway community housing project and also in relation to the Valley Park mixed housing development. The Valley Park project involved complex land assembly issues (including a land exchange with the Council following revocation of the relevant reservation), construction and delivery by the private development party in accordance with a staged subdivision, a mixed private and public housing strategy, construction of public housing stock and development of aged care facilities
  • representing the sate of Victoria in relation to the film and television studios project in Docklands and the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds redevelopment (both delivered under the “PPP” model) and providing advice to the Department of Primary Industries in relation to various aspects of the Biosciences Research Centre (also a PPP project)
  • representing the Department of Treasury and Finance in relation to a range of lease negotiations including agreements for lease for a number of new build regional facilities and a substantial lease commitment on behalf of the Department of Justice and Community Safety at 50 Franklin Street, Melbourne

Recent Posts

COVID-19 and commercial leases – Victoria issues Regulations to implement the Code

Commercial Leases and COVID-19 – Mandatory Industry Code

Retail and commercial leases in a COVID-19 world

Personal Experience

With over 35 years in the profession, Steve has accumulated a wide range of skills and extensive experience in all aspects of real estate, property development and construction.

Steve has acted for clients in both the private and public sectors (state and local government) and his experience includes working on small, medium and large scale commercial, retail and residential development projects, social housing projects, public private partnerships (social infrastructure), retail and commercial leasing and a range of other real estate transactions.

Steve has negotiated and advised on a wide range of development delivery and management agreements, design consultancy and construction agreements, joint venture and other co-ownership agreements and development funding and security agreements representing both lenders and borrowers.

His broad knowledge of all the interconnected aspects of real estate transactions and development projects, including structuring, duty, construction, funding and leasing make Steve a highly valued resource to the firm’s clients.

Examples of Steve’s experience in the private and public sectors are set out below.

Private sector

  • sale and leaseback of the former CUB headquarters building in Southbank, including preparation and negotiation of sale contract and lease terms
  • negotiating lease terms for other CUB premises including warehouse premises and new office headquarters in Freshwater Place, Southbank
  • acting on the sale of a number of shopping centers including Healesville Walk Shopping Centre and assisting with lease reviews, due diligence and other issues in connection with acquisition of Waverley Gardens Shopping Centre (acquisition of shares and units in the owner entity)
  • representing ISPT in preparing and negotiating numerous retail Agreements for Lease and Leases in Melbourne and Sydney
  • negotiating development and lease agreements for new build industrial premises (warehousing and dispatch) with specialized tenant requirements, and for a purpose designed, state of the art, galvanizing facility
  • representing Melbourne Seafood Centre in lease negotiations for a purpose built wholesale fish market in Kensington, including establishment of the holding company, shareholder’s agreement and stall holder sub-leases
  • acting for a number of private investment funds in relation to the acquisition and disposal of investment and development property assets in Victoria and associated leasing work
  • representing a REIT in relation to the acquisition, development delivery and leasing of child care assets
  • representing a number of substantial Chinese development groups in relation to greenfield acquisitions and residential subdivision projects, including advice on contract terms, FIRB issues, development management and delivery arrangements, early access and civil works
  • advising and assisting small to medium private family real estate investors and developers in relation to a range of assets across Australia, including acquisitions, development, leasing and disposals
  • representing a hotel developer in relation to proposed projects involving acquisition, development, branded hotel and entertainment facility operations, including IP licensing arrangements, operating agreements and leasing
  • representing a major bank as tenant in a substantial commercial new build in Melbourne with integrated fitout
  • preparing and negotiating construction contracts for a range of projects in Adelaide and Melbourne, including engineering and civil works for residential subdivisions, small to medium residential development projects and large commercial/office buildings, and preparation and negotiations of associated project documents including consultant engagement agreements, development and project management agreements, builder side deeds and security documents
  • preparation of finance and security documents for development projects, representing lenders and borrowers, including representing Cbus Property in relation to a number of substantial development funding deals and portfolio term facilities, and representing a mezzanine development funder on a range of suburban residential projects
  • on behalf of banks and non-bank lenders to development projects, reviewing construction contracts and advising on risks for the lender, and preparation/negotiation of builder side deeds, reviewing and advising on pre-sale contracts and coordinating other real estate conditions for draw down.

Public sector

  • representing City of Wyndham in relation to its catalyst projects involving documenting the sale, construction and leasing arrangements for the Gateway site and advising on a range of issues related to the delivery of that project and other development projects
  • representing DHHS (formerly DHS) in relation to the Ashton Chadstone Gateway community housing project and also in relation to the Valley Park mixed housing development. The Valley Park project involved complex land assembly issues (including a land exchange with the Council following revocation of the relevant reservation), construction and delivery by the private development party in accordance with a staged subdivision, a mixed private and public housing strategy, construction of public housing stock and development of aged care facilities
  • representing the sate of Victoria in relation to the film and television studios project in Docklands and the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds redevelopment (both delivered under the “PPP” model) and providing advice to the Department of Primary Industries in relation to various aspects of the Biosciences Research Centre (also a PPP project)
  • representing the Department of Treasury and Finance in relation to a range of lease negotiations including agreements for lease for a number of new build regional facilities and a substantial lease commitment on behalf of the Department of Justice and Community Safety at 50 Franklin Street, Melbourne

Steve Aitchison

Partner / Principal

Melbourne


Services

Awards

Best Lawyers in Australia – Leasing Law
Best Lawyers in Australia – Real Property Law

Education and Accreditation

Bachelor of Laws, University of Adelaide

Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice

Memberships and Associations

Law Institute of Victoria

Recent Posts

COVID-19 and commercial leases – Victoria issues Regulations to implement the Code

Commercial Leases and COVID-19 – Mandatory Industry Code

Retail and commercial leases in a COVID-19 world