China’s Hengyi pays Victorian government $17.5 million for waterfront hospital on Mt Eliza’s Golden Mile

The site (outlined) is about 54 kilometres south of the Melbourne CBD.

Shanghai-backed developer Hengyi is paying Peninsula Health a speculated $17.5 million for a vacant hospital occupying a spectacular waterfront site within Mt Eliza’s valuable Golden Mile.

The 3.4 hectare parcel at 33 Jacksons Road, overlooking Canadian Bay, is now mooted to make way for a series of residential-based schemes – anticipated to include apartments, townhouses and standalone homes.

This marks the property’s first change in use since the 1930s when it opened as the orthopaedic branch of the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Later, it treated patients with polio and tuberculosis, then, in the 1970s, was converted into a nursing home.

Most recently branded The Mount Eliza Centre, 33 Jacksons Road was last occupied by Peninsula Health, which, along with Victoria’s Department of Health & Human Services, was the vendor.

Included in the sale are heritage protected buildings, some which the marketing agents promoted for their potential to be reconfigured as, amongst other things, part of an aged care complex or boutique hotel.

This might still be the case if Hengyi decides to subdivide and sell-down the portion the old buildings sit on, and construct new dwellings, around it.

Hengyi recently completed this 69-storey apartment building, Light House, at 442-450 Elizabeth Street in the Melbourne CBD.

Other than to confirm the transaction, CBRE’s Mark Wizel and Lewis Tong declined to comment about any part of their campaign, which was launched last November.

The brokers targeted owner-occupiers, developers and investors within the retirement community, medical, hospitality and education sectors.

Residential builders, however, were expected to dominate enquiry – the site sitting within the most prestigious pocket of Mt Eliza and being one of the few on the suburb’s waterfront which lends itself to a medium density redevelopment.

Hengyi’s Melbourne-based general manager Simon Manley said the builder is excited to deliver a unique product to Mt Eliza – and that it is currently contemplating a series of small, different, planning schemes for the parcel.

A subsidiary of Shandong HYI Group, the developer is perhaps best known in Melbourne for its city skyscrapers including Swanston Central, set to rise 72 storeys at 168 Victoria Street, Carlton, and in the CBD, the 69-storey Light House at 442 Elizabeth Street and The William, which replaced a long-vacant 21-level office building at 199 William Street.

The Mount Eliza Centre carried price hopes of about $24 million when it was previously listed for sale, then withdrawn, in 2017 – a more buoyant time in the commercial property market and before the historic components of the property were protected.

Prior to its use as a hospital, the site accommodated a holiday home, Beachleigh, built in 1878 by architect Thomas Watts.

In 2016, Ryman Health paid the University of Melbourne’s Business School nearly $40 million for a historic 8.9 hectare property, Moondah Estate, in Mt Eliza. This site is expected to be repurposed as an aged care complex.

An aerial view of The Ansett Estate, offered by the R.M Ansett Trust in November, 2017, and sold to Charles “Chas” Jacobsen for a speculated $33 million.

Last August, we reported that retirement village developer Charles “Chas” Jacobsen paid The Ansett Estate $33 million for a 22.3 hectare waterfront parcel of land, next door to the Ryman Health site.

Twelve years earlier, Mr Jacobsen paid the Ansett family $14.5 million for Sir Reginald Ansett’s famous home, Gunyong Valley, which is next door to the property he bought seven months ago.

Sir Reginald also once owned Moondah Estate.

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Marc Pallisco

A freelance property analyst and journalist, Marc is a co-founder of realestatesource.com.au.

Marc Pallisco
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