CostaFox sells Epping industrial site to Time & Place Commercial for more than $20 million

A Google Street View image of the Epping site at the corner of Cooper Street and the Hume Freeway.

CostaFox has sold a 9.7 hectare industrial development site in Melbourne’s northern suburb of Epping for more than $20 million.

The property, 415 Cooper Street, is being acquired by another young Melbourne developer and investor, Time & Place Commercial.

CostaFox recently obtained a rezoning to allow the former farmland to be subdivided as an industrial park.

On the south-west corner of the Hume Freeway, the land is opposite the Melbourne Wholesale Fruit Vegetable and Flower Market, which opened three years ago.

“We purchased the property just over two years ago for $9.5 million,” director Michael Fox said, not long after he and Robert Costa established the boutique development company.

“From the outset we wanted to have a broad range of projects in all market sectors” Mr Fox added.

CostaFox development director Geno Hubay said “the timing of the purchase at Cooper Street and getting through a difficult planning process, had added substantial value to the site”.

“We have been stuck in planning for two years trying to get through local and Commonwealth issues and our approval was a good fit with the move of Time and Place into the industrial market.”

As we reported last month, Frasers Property paid $40 million for this neighbouring Epping site (outlined) recently.

Time & Place Commercial director Chris O’Keefe said “we have a strong appetite for industrial land lot projects in Melbourne’s north-west and we are looking to grow our portfolio significantly in this asset class in the next two to five years”.

“The industrial land lot market is booming with intense demand coming from mum-and-dad businesses and SMEs. We are seeking to capitalise on this demand by delivering industrial land subdivisions where supply is drying up and complement our residential arm of the business”.

“This particular site was of interest to us due to its proximity to the existing Hume Highway and its location nearby to the Epping Wholesale Market and booming residential precinct to the north,” he said.

“This project will now join our existing industrial portfolio and we are actively seeking more opportunities of this nature.

CostaFox’s strata office proposal for 1-11 Gordon Street, Cremorne.

Matt Ellis of Jones Lang LaSalle acted for the purchaser.

He said the site, which had value-added to it, was a good fit for Time & Place Commercial, which is seeking a strategy of acquiring land.

The broker added that suburbs such as Epping are becoming considered infill locations given Melbourne’s sprawl (which in the north, is as far up as Kalkallo, now)

Mr Ellis said he said there is both demand (from investors and owner-occupiers), and a shortage of stock, of the product Time and Place aims to offer at 415 Cooper Street.

“Smaller land product, of between 1000 square metres and 2000 sqm, where a shed upwards of 1000 sqm can be built, are in short supply, in the north,” Mr Ellis said.

Last month we reported that Frasers Property Australia was paying $40 million for a site at 410 Cooper Street, on the north-west corner of the Hume Freeway.

This property, covering 63.4 hectares, is earmarked to make way for an industrial park containing 250,000 square metres of built area.

Frasers will offer subdivided pieces of the Epping site via pre-lease development, land and build packages, and land sales.

In September CostaFox unveiled plans to build a strata office complex in the inner-city Richmond pocket of Cremorne.

The eight-level building proposed for 1-11 Gordon Street will contain 5464 square metres of office area, a 533 sqm ground floor retail space and 52 car parks.

CostaFox also controls a site at 111 Lorimer Street, behind the Docklands precinct of Yarra Edge, which is owned by Mirvac.

It is also planning to replace a former West Footscray factory with Indwe Park, a $100 million townhouse project with a childcare centre, shops and café.

In Sydney’s beach side suburb of Manly, CostaFox recently completed a luxury apartment tower on Bower Street, considered one of the city’s most exclusive rows.

Marc Pallisco

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

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