Trucking magnate Lindsay Fox (pictured, top) has acquired a strategic development site behind Sorrento’s Ocean Beach Road retail strip, on Victoria’s exclusive Mornington Peninsula.
A company controlled by the billionaire businessman’s family paid $3 million for the high-profile 1658 square metre parcel at 856-858 Melbourne Road last October, following a CBRE campaign.
The island site, bound by Morce Avenue and Tayton Place, is configured with two residential dwellings including historic homestead, Mayfair.
To the east, the property abuts a council car park attached to the Sorrento Community Centre and Sorrento Portsea RSL.
The site also enjoys north-facing vistas over David Macfarlan Reserve, the Sorrento Recreation Reserve and Sorrento Bowls Club.
Marketing agents Julian White, Rorey James and Chao Zhang promoted the potential for the land to be replaced with a residential-based mixed-used redevelopment or a hotel.
Any medium density complex of this nature would capture view lines to the water.
The agents declined to comment about the deal.
The acquisition of 856-858 Melbourne Road comes almost four years since Mr Fox paid $4.1 million for a c4000 square metre-plus development site across the road.
That holding, including 839-843 Melbourne Road, which was marketed by RT Edgar, could also logically make way for a mixed-use project containing apartments and shops.
Both Melbourne Road properties are at the western edge of the precinct’s main shopping strip.
Elsewhere on the Mornington Peninsula, a precinct dubbed by agents as Victoria’s “millionaire’s playground”, the Fox family controls a waterfront compound of holiday homes around Merrylands Avenue, Portsea, metres from the Sorrento suburb border (Point King Road) and the historic cliff-top mansion, Ilyuka.
On Christmas eve, 2013, the Victorian Land Titles office granted Mr Fox control of an extra 45 metres of beach, abutting the Portsea compound.
Until Mr Fox erected bollards in 2014 to mark his new territory, this stretch of sand had been for public use.
Last October, we reported that Lindsay’s son, Andrew, who runs the family’s Linfox Property Group, paid $5.2 million for a low-rise office at 16-22 Eastern Road, South Melbourne, following a Lemon Baxter campaign.
That deal came three years after Andrew paid $4.4 million for the parcel next door (8-14 Eastern Road).
It is speculated both South Melbourne buildings will be demolished to make way for a new company office, seeing the family recently, successfully, applied to replace its current headquarters, 493 St Kilda Road, with apartments.
In 2016, another of Lindsay’s sons, Peter, paid $1.15 million for a terrace at 22 Stewart Street, Windsor – his father’s childhood home. The purchase was made just before Lindsay’s 80th birthday – suggesting it was a present.
Lindsay Fox, who has a personal net worth of about $3 billion, according to recent reports, lives in one of Melbourne’s most valuable homes, Eulinya, which spans the south-east corner of Irving and Albany roads, in Toorak.
The businessman also owns residential real estate outside of Victoria. In 2016, it was reported Mr Fox was seeking about $60 million for the historic Spanish Mission style Boomerang estate in Sydney’s Elizabeth Bay.
Mr Fox paid $21 million for Boomerang in 2005.