rival developers, the sushi bar and the grand plan for Burwood


Bechara refused to provide evidence and respond to the charges against him so far in the court case. Did not return the file Herald of call Wednesday.

The companies controlled by Bechara and the Taouk brothers each possess more properties within the block, which is bounded by the Marmaduke, Deane, George and Mary streets.

The Burwood development site, next to the houses owned by companies associated with Antoine Bechara.

The Burwood development site, next to the houses owned by companies associated with Antoine Bechara. Credit:Sam Mooy

The Taouk brothers, through their companies Dean Street Holdings and TMQ Design & Construct, have started digging to build a 25-story apartment tower in their lots.

But Omaya Investments, controlled by Mr. Bechara, launched a legal offer in July to stop neighboring development, claiming the job was "illegal" and lacked the appropriate planning approvals.

Omaya claims that the development consent expired before construction began, that further excavations were carried out beyond what was approved and that the works in progress were different from those approved in a construction certificate.

Omaya won a court injunction that temporarily suspended work on the site in August, but orders were revoked last month when Mr. Bechara ceased to act for him in the middle of the seven-day hearing.

The case was updated until October 30th.

In the judicial documents the Taouk brothers stated that Bechara had proposed them at the beginning of the year to join him in the development of the Burwood block.

The first of the conversations would take place during a January dinner in Zushi, an exclusive sushi restaurant under Mr. Bechara's Barangaroo office.

The Zushi restaurant in Barangaroo.

The Zushi restaurant in Barangaroo. Credit:Sam Mooy

The Taouk brothers claim that Bechara told them he wanted to unite their lands and purchase additional surrounding properties, including land owned by the municipality and an ambulance station in San Giovanni, to bring development "to the next level".

"The idea is to integrate the entire development into the Burwood station by creating a large shopping center and a podium with a residential and commercial tower at the top," said Bechara during the meeting.

The planned development of Mr. Bechara would include a "large commercial and residential component", more than 400 apartments, a ratio of 10 to 1 living space and a proposal for a new bus interchange, recalled one of the brothers.

Mark Taouk said that Bechara avoided the concerns that the proposal would be difficult to overcome.

"I am not worried about the council. It is an important planning proposal for state planning. The elections are in March. If my people are elected, then they will surely be able to help," Bechara told the Taouks.

"You are crazy if you proceed with your current consent. There is not much money in this and this could be great ".

The Taouk brothers said they had told Mr. Bechara did not have the time or the money to engage in the proposal and preferred to proceed with their 25-story development.

Bechara would ask them to think about it and "hold another meeting after the elections".

The Taouk brothers stated that Antoine's representative, Ray Bechara, followed them in March.

During the meeting, Ray Bechara would have warned that Antoine was not "happy" and that he was "losing" him due to their reluctance to get involved.

"He (Antoine) wants the site and will do whatever is necessary, including taking you to court to stop work. He's getting crazy, "said Ray Bechara.

"It will make your life hell and you will waste money on lawyers in court for the property unless you understand it or you join it to complete its development."

Ray Bechara would have urged the brothers to sell their land to Antoine, saying he could afford to pay a high price because of the "wealthy people" involved in his proposal.

A final conversation would take place in a coffee shop on Macquarie Street when the matter was brought to court for the first time in August.

Mark Taouk stated that Bechara told him that he would "attack the validity" of their development application, having succeeded in having another DA declared invalid in the past.

"The fact that the applicant appears to be a disgruntled commercial competitor is a reason why the indulgence he seeks should be refused," the Taouk brothers' legal representatives stated in court documents.

They said that Omaya was pushing a "pedantic, excessively legalistic, fine-toothed approach" in claiming that the construction work did not comply with the rules.

"The alleged violations were technical and were imperceptible," the Taouk lawyers argued, also pointing out that Bechara had not chosen not to contest their version of events by providing evidence in the case.

Bechara, from Abbotsford, was one of the most prolific developers in the western hinterland of Sydney and is best known for developing a profitable area of ​​the Strathfield real estate industry known as the Golden Triangle.

The property developer of Lebanese origin, reported as having strong ties to the ALP, was no stranger to disputes over the decades.

In 2007 a Herald The survey reported that Bechara had been sold 11 properties – all without a public tender – from a Labor council of Sydney.

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