Moonee Valley Racecourse sell-down begins

The former chairman’s residence has been refurbished and extended into an 854 square metre childcare centre.

The first piece of the Moonee Valley Racecourse to be divested by the Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC) in more than a century hit the market last week.

The childcare centre at 2 McPherson Street was built into a historic, double-storey former chairman’s residence at the north west tip of the 40 hectare site.

It has a $6 million guide.

MVRC recently completed the major renovation and extension – creating an 854 square metre facility.

It occupies a 1295 sqm block designed with outdoor play spaces and parking.

Nido Early School is committed for 20 years; it moved in five months ago.

There are 91 places.

Based on the annual rent ($350,000), the asset is expected to sell on a c5.8 per cent yield.

With options, the occupier can stay until 2059.

CBRE’s Sandro Peluso, Josh Twelftree, Marcello Caspani-Muto and Jimmy Tat will auction the property on December 10.

Listing follows Moonee Valley Park launch

The listing of 2 McPherson Street comes shortly after MVRC was given the go-ahead to redevelop Moonee Valley Racecourse as Moonee Valley Park.

That project will add about 2000 dwellings, accommodating up to 400 residents in apartment buildings at the south west and north east edge of the holding.

Sixteen hectares in the track centre will become public space.

Hospitality areas, retail and offices also form part of the master-plan.

The grandstand will be relocated from the western boundary of the racetrack to the north (backing onto Dean St).

Immediately around 2 McPherson St, townhouses – being marketed at present as Feehan Row – are proposed: named in honour of John F Feehan, who owned the farm which made way for arena 135 years ago (story continues below).

As part of its redevelopment, MVRC plans to fund tree-lining and beautification of a nearby Alexandra Avenue, which connects Moonee Valley Park to Moonee Ponds Junction and Puckle St retail strip.

Queens Park is a few hundred metres away.

Moonee Ponds

Moonee Ponds and the neighbouring Ascot Vale and Essendon are considered amongst north west Melbourne’s most aspirational suburbs.

Last year, a home in exclusive Ardmillan Road (pictured, below) traded for a Moonee Ponds record ($10.725m).

Mr Peluso described 2 McPherson St as one of the most exciting childcare investments he has marketed this year.

“Moonee Ponds is just six kilometres from the Melbourne CBD and is located in a Victorian planning activity centre,” the agent said.

“With a median house price of $1.44 million, the suburb is one of the most valuable in the north west and is also one of the most sought-after family suburbs – accommodating schools including Penleigh and Essendon Grammar Girls’ Junior School, Lowther Hall, St Columba’s and St Monica’s”.

Mr Twelftree added that in recent years, the suburb has seen a wave of major development including Caydon’s mixed-use village which is taking shape on part of the suburb’s former market.

“Major developments are slated for sites around the Puckle St retail strip and the Moonee Ponds train station, which is walking distance from the site,” according to the executive.

The home at 36 Ardmillan Road which sold last year following a renovation for $10.725 million – a Moonee Ponds record.

Melbourne’s childcare investment sector: 2019 highlights

Last year, $14.8m – a national record price for a childcare centre – was paid for an Artarmon asset.

Two months ago, three investments, owned by operator Mike Wu hit the market asking more than that (one, in Brisbane, is expected to sell for about $35m).

Last month, that vendor unveiled plans to construct Australia’s largest investment of this type, in Southbank – walking distance to Melbourne’s CBD.

In April, a South Melbourne childcare centre which cost $6.3 million to fit out, exchanged.

A month earlier, ASX-listed Charter Hall spent $75.5m on 13 investments of this type, in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – for its Education Trust.

The childcare investment at 2 McPherson Street, Moonee Ponds, contains 20 car spaces.

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Marc Pallisco

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