Developer buys Xavier’s Kostka Hall

The c1887 Maritima homestead at Kostka Hall.

Jeff Xu has snapped up another redundant school for a medium density project – this time in Brighton.

The executive’s Golden Age Group is paying $100 million for Xavier College’s 3.3 hectare ex-Kostka Hall campus, near Brighton Beach station.

Golden Age bought Box Hill South’s ex-St Leo’s (shaded) in 2020.

Jesuits Australia was the vendor – it closed the facility last December after 84 years.

Glen Waverley’s Cheshire School cost Golden Age c$23 million.

However the campus was earmarked to shut before then – in late 2020, agents say Haileybury College was circling it off-market, for a nine figure sum.

That school, along with Brighton Grammar, is believed to have thrown its hat in the ring following this campaign.

Golden Age buys another school

For Golden Age, the acquisition comes 18 months since outlaying $61m for the 5.04ha former St Leo’s College, abutting Gardiners Creek in Box Hill South, again for a residential project.

Also in 2020, Mr Xu purchased the ex-Cheshire School, on 1.54ha at 583 Ferntree Gully Road, Glen Waverley.

Marketed for its potential to yield c100 townhouses development, that site cost $23m.

The diversified builder is behind commercial projects too, including a strata office tower at 130 Little Collins St, in the CBD’s ritzy eastern core, replacing a former Uniting Church picked up in 2019 (story continues below).

Golden Age’s high-end strata office project, under construction at 130 Little Collins Street.

Majority of proceeds for replacement school: Jesuits

Functions undertaken at Kostka Hall – it was a junior school – will be relocated to a Kew equivalent, Burke Hall, off Studley Park Road.

Xavier also has a senior campus in that suburb, on Barkers Rd, at the Hawthorn border.

Some 85 per cent of Brighton’s proceeds will be tipped into new and existing buildings at both those campuses, the school said in a statement earlier this year.

The balance c$15m will be allocated to traditional bursaries, and aged care initiatives carried out as part of the Father General’s Fund for Charitable and Social Needs fund.

Colliers’ John Marasco, Trent Hobart, Hamish Burgess and Yvonne Zhou were the marketing agents, with JACX Property’s Michael Jackson the transaction manager.

“The iconic site…attracted broad ranging interest from local and international developers, educational institutions and major players in the healthcare, aged care and retirement living sectors,” Mr Hobart said.

“We weren’t surprised to see such strong competition as this is the largest site offered in Brighton in the 21st century and…represented one of the most prestigious and rare real estate prospects in Melbourne, if not Australia,” he added.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of