CSIRO set to sell former Highett laboratory

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation is offloading a former laboratory in Highett, about 16 kilometres south-east of the Melbourne CBD.

The 9.34 hectare block covering 37 Graham Road and 32 Middleton Street is expected to sell to a townhouse developer.

Colliers International’s Trent Hobart, Peter Bremner and Hamish Burgess are marketing the property as a residential infill development site called Park Village.

The agents are not promoting a price guide.

However given another deal they struck this week – valuing 2.6 hectares in Forest Hill at $45.85 million – one can imagine the federal government is in for a payday approaching nine-figures, when it sells Highett.

Four hectares of the block (shaded) has to be given to Bayside Council post-settlement.

As part of the sale process, the land will be rezoned upon settlement to Residential Growth and Development Plan Overlay – Schedule 2.

Also at settlement, the incoming purchaser needs to transfer four hectares to Bayside Council for public open space and conservation.

This would still leave more than five hectares for medium density development.

The market has been waiting for years for this site to become available, Mr Bremner said.

An aerial image showing the site (centre) relative to Port Phillip Bay and the Melbourne CBD, 16 kilometres away.

As far back as 2011, there were reports of a deal which would have seen the federal government sell the block to Development Victoria, the state’s development arm (and which was at the time known as VicUrban).

“This is the only 93,400 square metre residential development site in a premium south-eastern bayside location so we expect all major developers locally, nationally and internationally to have an interest,” Mr Bremner said.

“The site is prominently positioned between the Nepean Highway and Port Phillip Bay, nestled amongst some of Melbourne’s most exclusive suburbs such as Brighton, Hampton and Sandringham,” the broker added. “It is a unique and truly unrepeatable offering in a blue-chip market”.

In 2015, the CSIRO sold this ex-Belmont laboratory (shaded), near Geelong, to Up Property.

The agents said 37 Graham Road is near to parkland, the Highett train station, the Highett Road retail strip, and a near-new full-line Woolworths supermarket.

In 2015, the CSIRO sold a 6.4 hectare former laboratory in Belmont, near Geelong, to Up Property for a price speculated to be as high as $10 million.

Marc Pallisco

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

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