Banyule City Council lists former Banksia Latrobe Secondary College as development site

As part of Bellfield’s master-planned urban renewal, council will build a road (marked A) near the plots (shaded, orange) which are for sale.

Banyule City Council is selling one of three ex-schools acquired from the Napthine government in 2012.

The former Banksia Latrobe Secondary College at 232 Banksia Street, Bellfield, is expected to trade for more than $25 million, but this couldn’t be confirmed.

Colliers International’s Hamish Burgess, Robert Papaleo and Joe Kairouz are marketing the 2.21 hectare block as Banksia Village – “a de-risked island development site on the border of Ivanhoe”.

If it doesn’t sell as a whole, the vendor would consider splitting it into four.

Council has identified the area for urban renewal and is keen to see the former school replaced with housing – pushing through a rezoning allowing for apartment buildings of up to five storeys.

Bellfield, which shares the same postcode as Heidelberg West, is nine kilometres north east of Melbourne’s CBD.

Heidelberg West and Ivanhoe: neighbouring suburbs with extreme median value

Few neighbouring Melbourne suburbs show a disparity in median house value like Heidelberg West and Ivanhoe.

Few neighbouring Melbourne suburbs show a disparity in land value like Heidelberg West and Ivanhoe.

The former has a median house price of $671,250, according to

In the latter, homes sell for an average $1.45m (and in the part known as Eaglemont, for $1.88m).

Bellfield compares at $745,000.

Unfortunately for the vendor, Banksia Village is across the road – or about five metres – from Ivanhoe.

In 2016, Banyule City Council delivered a windfall for the purchaser of Bell Street’s former Courtney and Patterson car dealership: JTX agreed to buy the block when it was zoned Heidelberg (where the median house price is presently $1.24m), but when it settled, the land had been gazetted Ivanhoe.

Similarly, 443 Upper Heidelberg Road, a car park which Caydon recently replaced with apartments, is now known as Ivanhoe after being sold as a Heidelberg development site in 2014.

Council’s windfall selling down the ex-school sites

Banyule City Council is reaping its own jackpot following its decision eight years ago to spend $23.2m on three former schools within its municipality.

The former Bellfield Primary School on a 1.95 hectare block on the Ivanhoe side of Banksia Street, opposite the site Colliers International is marketing, traded to Stockland for $22.1m in 2014 and has made way for 81 townhouses.

Also six years ago, council offloaded the former Haig Street Primary School in Heidelberg Heights for $16m to Metricon which has since replaced the three hectare parcel with 118 double storey dwellings.

The Banskia Village site

Located within the LaTrobe National Economic and Innovation Cluster, the Bellfield offering comprises four adjoining parcels.

“The purchasers of Banksia Village, or its individual sites, will have the opportunity to extend the foundation work done by council to deliver an innovative and integrated residential project that will leverage the recent success of nearby major medium density schemes and urban renewal initiatives,” Mr Burgess said.

“As a suburb, Bellfield has until recently been hidden in plain sight despite its outstanding location attributes as indicated by its shared border with Ivanhoe and the Darebin Creek parklands,” Mr Papaleo added.

“Over the past decade, the suburb’s large house blocks have increasingly attracted the interest of townhouse developers, as well as…young families priced out of the adjoining suburbs where median house prices are at a premium of more than 70 per cent.

“A significant benefit of this opportunity to the purchaser is that it will allow collaboration with a committed council which has already created a planning framework that is both certain and flexible.

“Importantly, Banyule have a successful track record in acting as both vendor and responsible authority that has led to outstanding development outcomes.”

Bellfield’s urban renewal initiative – which received ministerial acceptance last month – covers the former Banksia LaTrobe Secondary College and other council owned land.

It is expected to result in the construction of a community hub, including a relocated community centre.

The Banksia Village site is near LaTrobe University, Austin Hospital and Heidelberg Health Precinct, and Northland Shopping Centre.

The marketing agents said the pending rezoning substantially de-risks the site for prospective purchasers.

“More and more over the past three years we have seen the mandates of developers include large medium-density sites, zoned Residential Growth in emerging suburbs,” Mr Kairouz said.

“Banksia Village clearly ticks all of these boxes”.

The 2.21 hectare Bellfield site (shaded) is opposite another ex-school, in Ivanhoe, which Stockland recently replaced with 81 townhouses.

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Marc Pallisco

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