A joint venture between Charter Hall and retailer Harvey Norman purchased the 11.5 hectare Mentone property in 2006, shortly after Nylex announced it would shut the site and put 120 employees out of work.
Part of the site was subsequently rezoned and subdivided to create the Aquilo residential development. Charter Hall purchased the 3.3 hectare Aquilo site from the joint venture in December 2008.
All up, it’s been reported Charter Hall outlaid about $10 million for the Mentone site.
The property abuts a prominent bulky goods complex, which includes as tenants Bunnings, Retravision and Supercheap Auto.
Charter Hall joins a growing list of interstate based developers including Mirvac, Stockland, Sunland and Walker Corporation, building major projects in Melbourne’s outer suburbs.
Charter Hall is co-directed by David Harrison, who for several years before quitting agency in 2005 was considered Australia’s most successful commercial realtor, based on the value of sales transacted.
The group is considered underweight in Victorian assets, relative to its New South Wales and Queensland property portfolio. In Melbourne, Charter Hall controls the Home HQ complex in Nunawading and the first stage of the Lacrosse Apartments project in Docklands.
When the economic downturn took hold in late 2007 it was reported Charter Hall was in advanced negotiations to buy two prominent Melbourne sites: the South Wharf office building, in Docklands, and the outgoing GTV Nine studio in Richmond. Both deals fell over.
Charter Hall did however proceed with plans to buy ten Fosters properties with redevelopment potential in Abbotsford, with joint venture partner the Wyllie Group.
The consortium paid $41 million for the portfolio in late 2007. Charter Hall sold its half share to Wyllie in 2009 for $18.3 million.