Major south east Melbourne infill site to fetch over $250m

Melbourne Football Club last year sold Metro Property Group a 1.026 hectare Bentleigh site (outlined) for $23.7 million.

A prominent south east Melbourne retail and commercial investment recently rezoned for a $1 billion-plus mixed-use but predominantly residential “precinct defining” village has been listed for sale.

Sunkin Property Group recently won permission to build 1022 dwellings on an ex-CSIRO laboratory at Highett, near Bentleigh East.

The 14 hectare block, 236-262 East Boundary Road, Bentleigh East, is expected to trade for over $250 million.

Frasers Property Australia and Irongate Group paid c$225 million for an infill Yarraville site last year.

Abacus Property Group and Gillon Group are offering it permit-ready for a master planned community, dubbed East Village, which will contain 2200 dwellings – a mix of apartments and townhouses – 14,000 square metres of retail including two supermarkets and 40,000 sqm of offices.

The listing comes nearly two years since Wolf Group arm Sunkin Property Group paid the CSIRO $90m for an ex-laboratory on 9.4ha in Highett, about four kilometres south of the Abacus/Gillon block.

That site was recently permitted for 1022 dwellings in 15 towers between two and seven storeys -a project carrying an end value of $500m.

Last September Frasers Property Australia in partnership with Irongate Group outlaid c$225m for a 24.3ha Yarraville site, incorporating the ex-Bradmill factory, seven kilometres west of Melbourne.

Previously the subject of a $3.2b redevelopment with c3750 dwellings including in high rise apartment towers abutting the train line, the new owners are instead intending just over 1000 homes, expected to be predominantly townhouses.

Bentleigh East, 14 kilometres from the CBD, carries a median apartment price of $860,000, according to REA Group.

Last month the Melbourne Football Club sold a pub on 1.026ha in the neighbouring suburb of Bentleigh to townhouse developer Metro Property Group for $23.7m.

East Village

Colliers’ John Marasco, Trent Hobart, Rachael Clohesy and Rob Joyes with Dawkins Occhiuto’s Walter Occhiuto, Andrew Dawkins and Chris Jones are marketing East Village (story continues below).

“We expect significant interest from offshore and Australian developers including major institutions, superannuation funds, Build to Rent groups and private developers,” Mr Marasco said.

“There is a substantial weight of capital in the market looking for developments of this size and calibre,” according to the executive.

“The aim of the East Village plan is to provide for many of the needs of the new community within 20 minutes of where people live – including parks, schools, shopping and dining, jobs and access to public transport,” the agent added of the proposal.

“This site will be central to the creation of a vibrant new hub that provides everything East Bentleigh residents need to live and work”.

Mr Occhiuto said the address is near medical, education and sporting amenity, as well as the second McKinnon Secondary School campus, developed on an adjoining site also once controlled by Abacus/Gillon.

Set for windfall

Formerly the WH Wills cigarette factory, the Bentleigh East property was rebuilt as Virginia Park, with offices, warehouses, retail and a childcare centre, by Gillon Group which paid $8.5m nearly 30 years ago and occupies part of it as its headquarters.

Abacus, which has recently focused on building its self-storage and CBD office portfolio, purchased its half share for $37.5m in 2006.

The rezoning application won approval last year.

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Marc Pallisco

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