The largest site, a 1.4 hectare block at 251 – 253 Ballarat Road in the western suburb of Braybrook sold for $3.35 million, or $246 per square metre, which is high for the area. Westwater purchased the site for $2.91 million, or $214 per square metre in April last year. The site has a permit for 44-townhouses, with additional land earmarked, but not approved, for a 3-level apartment complex.
In the northern suburb of Thornbury, a one hectare development site at 314 – 326 Gooch Street sold for $3.76 million, or $393 per square metre, to a separate purchaser. The property, near the Darebin Creek is closer to the border of the more exclusive suburb of Ivanhoe, and was purchased by Westwater for $2.76 million, or $289, in May last year. The new buyer will seek approval for a residential development.
Knight Frank director Nick Peden, who marketed the properties with director Michael Hede, said the sites aroused interest from both residential and aged care developers. “Large residential parcels close to the city are going for prices well above reserves.”
Mr Hede says there has been almost $30 million in development (non-industrial) site sales in Melbourne in the last two months, compared to $107 million over the 2006/07 financial year.
The last two remaining Westwater assets, in Brunswick and Blackburn, are for sale and expected to fetch a combined price of more than $10 million.
PricewaterhouseCoopers is acting as receiver for Westwater, which went into administration in April with debts of around $22 million.