Victorian government lists $90 million-plus portfolio as part of plan to improve housing affordability, choice

The former Boronia Heights College (outlined) is speculated to be the most valuable property in the portfolio, worth more than $35 million

A portfolio of six development sites, speculated to be worth in excess of $90 million, has been listed for sale by the Victorian government as part of its Inclusionary Housing Pilot.

Covering a total of 16 hectares, five of the sites are in metropolitan Melbourne. The other is in Wodonga, 300 kilometres north-east of the city, at the New South Wales border.

The properties form part of a portfolio controlled by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. This vendor is being represented by Savills Julian Heatherich, Mark Stafford and Jesse Radisich, who declined to comment about pricing.

The Inclusionary Housing Pilot seeks to deliver a mix of community, affordable and private housing on surplus government land.

What is believed to be the portfolio’s most valuable site, according to sources, is the former Boronia Heights College, about 32 kilometres east of the city.

This 8.2 hectare block at 40 Mount View Road, Boronia, is zoned Neighbourhood Residential 3 under the Knox Planning Scheme – meaning it is not appropriate for apartments. It is estimated this property might fill the department’s coffers to the tune of more than $35 million.

The next most expensive property, in the inner-north suburb of Parkville, was acquired by the former government as part of the proposed, now defunct motorway, East-West Link.

Spreading 1.15 hectares at 87-103 Manningham Street, and zoned Residential Growth 1, industry sources speculate this parcel could achieve a price of more than $25 million.

This holding is next door to the Evo apartment project which was under construction when East-West Link was announced, and was later purchased by the government. An unsuccessful campaign to sell the $95 million Evo complex as an investment opportunity was launched in March 2017 – the Andrews administration later opting to lease the units privately and maintain Evo as an income producing asset.

The other properties listed for sale yesterday are:

2-16 Nicholas Street, Broadmeadows – measuring 2.2 hectares and zoned Residential Growth.
– 30-40 Athol Road, Noble Park – measuring 2.3 hectares and zoned Public Use 2
– 16-20 Dumbarton Street, Reservoir – measuring 5976 square metres and zoned General Residential
– 30 Jarrah Street and 41 Pearce Street, in Wodonga – which spreads 1.9 hectares

The Evo apartment complex failed to sell last year with price expectations of c$95 million

“Large, strategically located development sites are becoming increasingly difficult to find across Victoria,” Mr Heatherich said.

“This portfolio provides an opportunity for one or more experienced developers to deliver a mix of new private, affordable and community housing across key Victoria locations”

The Inclusionary Housing Pilot forms part of the state government’s housing strategy, which includes Homes For Victorians (March 2017) and Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 (March 2017).

“The pilot aims to provide greater housing choice for all Victorians by meeting the diverse housing needs of the growing population,” Mr Stafford said.

The sites are for sale via an expressions of interest campaign closing on September 6, 2018.

Marc Pallisco

A freelance property writer and experienced analyst, Marc is the co-founder of realestatesource.com.au

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