CSIRO sells ex-Highett laboratory for $90m

The site includes a residential plot which could connect the upcoming housing estate to Middleton Street.

Wolf Group is paying $90 million for a former laboratory in Melbourne’s south east, with plans for a housing estate.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation listed the 9.34 hectare Highett property at 37 Graham Road 15 months ago.

Last month the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning zoned it for the construction of more than 500 residences – expected to be a mix of standalone homes, townhouses and apartments.

Four hectares must be retained for public use – three quarters for community conservation and the balance for the City of Bayside to build a park.

The site’s northern boundary abuts new three level apartment buildings and the Woolworths-anchored Highett Shopping Centre, which is adjacent to the suburb’s train station (story continues below).

A CSIRO building formerly on the Highett site.

Colliers International’s Trent Hobart, Peter Bremner and Hamish Burgess, under instruction from transaction manager Urbis marketed 37 Graham Road, which the CSIRO spent a speculated $30m to remediate before settlement. The vendor ceased using the property in 2011.

The purchaser is affiliated to Chaolong Developments, which last year paid the troubled iProsperity c$145m for Glen Waverley’s Century City Walk Shopping Centre and adjoining Novotel Melbourne hotel.

The Highett deal comes five years after the science department sold a former Geelong laboratory, to Up Property, for c$10m.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.