Australia’s biggest distribution centre complete

The asset includes two standalone warehouses.


Vaughan Constructions has completed Australia’s biggest distribution centre, in Melbourne’s north Mickleham.

The social building (middle) will contain a refrigerated distribution centre.

On 28 hectares, the 100,000 square metre facility with two standalone buildings was designed and commissioned by Kaufland – which sold it mid-construction.

Inside the 73,000 square metre main warehouse.

It was supposed to be bigger but the German supermarket didn’t proceed with a third improvement, a 40-metre tall high-bay warehouse.

Including that structure, the build cost would have come in at about $150 million according to planning documents.

Kaufland designed, commissioned then sold the Mickleham property.

Kaufland paid MAB and Gibson Property Corporation $33.6m for the land at Merrifield Business Park two years ago.

Last February the retailer announced plans to quit Australia.

The distribution centre contains a three level A-grade office.

A few weeks later, it listed Mickleham and eight sites earmarked for stores.

These sold in tranches between April and October.

Asset is Fife’s now

Fife Capital snapped up the Mickleham property five months ago for a speculated $83m.

It also committed DHL Australia for 10 years; the facility is one of four in Melbourne the occupier plans to fill in the short term.

The investment contains a 73,200 sqm warehouse accessed via 168 recessed loading docks and 4000 sqm entry building with office. It has similarly small ancillary structures.

A standalone 13,000 sqm improvement called the social building is designed with a temperature-controlled distribution centre component.

There is 10.7ha of hardstand.

DHL is expanding into specialised warehousing for healthcare clients, including ones distributing vaccines.

Mickleham is about 29 kilometres from the CBD, near Hume Highway.

The area is about 16 km south of a Beveridge intermodal facility proposed by Qube (story continues below).

Our biggest project: Vaughan

Vaughan director Eric Law today announced the Mickleham project on Polaris Road complete. It is the company’s biggest development.

“Together we have achieved an amazing feat in the design and construction of a world-class facility currently the largest in Australia – which encompassed the best of German specifications and Australian design,” the executive added.

In a statement, Kaufland Australia director, Construction & Planning, Patrick Bezner, echoed Mr Law’s comments.

CEVA Logistics occupies what is arguably Melbourne’s second biggest warehouse – spreading 72,000 sqm inclusive of office, on 16.7ha in Doriemus Drive, Truganina.

Toll rents a 71,000 sqm facility at the corner of Airport Dve and Link Rd at Melbourne Airport.

Kaufland’s sell-down

The portfolio Kaufland offered via Colliers contained assets in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.

Synnex spent nearly $21m on the 4.4ha Oakleigh South property with plans to add 8200 sqm of warehouse area.

Also in Melbourne, Woolworths acquired a Dandenong holding for $18.2m and Aventus snapped up a High St, Epping, showroom on 3.15ha ($11.5m).

A Chirnside Park outlet on 3.9ha also traded, the vendor paid $16.5m two years ago.

Last April, office leasing agents sought to sub-let Kaufland’s temporary Mount Waverley headquarters.

Instead the tenancy saw out and Dexus is now handling that as a direct vacancy.

Gordon Corp acquired the three Queensland assets – at Morayfield, Richlands and Burleigh Heads – with plans to convert them into homemaker centres.

South Australian government development arm Renewal SA purchased the two Adelaide holdings.

Kaufland is held by the Schwarz Group directed by Dieter Schwarz.

It had earmarked about 30 Australian stores.

Renewal SA acquired two Adelaide sites from Kaufland including at Forestville.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of