Eastern Golf Course on Track to Sell to China Based Developers

Eastern Golf Club board members listed the Doncaster course for sale as a residential and commercial development site just over a year ago. Funds from the sale will pay for the development of a ritzy new golf course at Yering Gorge.

Representatives from Colliers International, the marketing agency, declined to comment on a deal when contacted by Capital Gain.

The Eastern Golf Course was the most valuable development site to hit the Melbourne market last year, with initial price expectations of just over $100 million.

Another major residential development site in Alphington – the outgoing, 17 hectare Amcor Fibre Packaging factory – was listed for sale just prior to the Eastern. The price expectation for the inner-city Alphington site was about $100 million.

Given the bleak economic backdrop last year, prospective buyers for major development sites of this scale were rare.

Negotiations to sell the properties – the Eastern to MAB Corporation, and the Amcor site to Walker Corporation – both fell over.

Melbourne’s biggest recent residential development site sale, measured by value, occurred in late 2007 when Sydney-based developer Mirvac agreed to pay Austral about $100 million for its outgoing 56 hectare brickworks property, spread across two suburbs : Scoresby and Wantirna South.

Mirvac is preparing to start developing homes on that site later this year.

Last week it was reported a China-based developer is in advanced negotiations to buy the Quest Brighton on the Bay complex, opposite the Royal Brighton Yacht Club.

A sale of the Eastern Golf Course to offshore-based developers continues a trend this year.

Last month, Capital Gain reported another major eastern suburb site opposite Doncaster Shoppingtown sold to Asia-based builders for about $16 million.

The new owners are proposing a mixed use village of shops, offices and apartments, which would be consistent with principles established in the contentious Melbourne @ 5 Million planning document.

Closer to the city, offshore developers are expected to announce plans to build several high rise skyscrapers at sites in Mackenzie and Franklin streets, near the Queen Victoria Market; at Albert Road near the Shrine of Remembrance, and on the site of the former St Kilda Post Office.

DEC, the local subsidiary of a Mumbai based developer, is moving ahead with developing four sites it picked up in three suburbs: Middle Park, Southbank and South Yarra.

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Marc Pallisco

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