Northcote’s Ensign compound sells to developer

The Ensign property (shaded) covers both sides of Gadd Street.

Citinova has quietly scooped up one of Northcote’s largest industrial properties for a medium density residential project.

Citinova developed 23 townhouses at the south east corner of French Avenue and Separation Street.

The Linen Services Australia compound, spreading two near equal sized Industrial 3 zoned blocks north and south of Gadd Street, at the T-intersection of Leinster Grove – all up, 1.18 hectares – is setting the builder back nearly $20 million.

Eleven offers came in following an off-market expressions of interest campaign, according to the agents, Colliers’ Joe Kairouz and Robert Papaleo; the amalgamation was promoted as Northcote Grove.

Townhouses at Glenvill’s The Cottery, which replaced Gadd Street’s Joshua Pitt tannery.

Elsewhere in Gadd St, Glenvill Homes eight years ago developed 123 townhouses – some up to four storeys – and 53 apartments on the former Joshua Pitt Leatherworks, which closed in 2003 after 121 years.

Beulah, meanwhile, is developing Australia’s first carbon neutral detached housing project, The Wilds, in Cunningham St, in the suburb – a site it is speculated the Batman’s Treaty was signed in 1835.

Northcote is five kilometres north of Melbourne.

Split site

Known as 24 Leinster Gr, the Ensign site is identified by council as a strategic residential redevelopment opportunity.

“Being uniquely situated across two…sides of Gadd St certainly added to the appeal of this opportunity in this opportunity in this incredibly popular inner north suburb,’ Mr Papaleo added.

Mr Kairoz said “as a scarce infill property of scale with inherent flexibility for ongoing or alternative use, Northcote Grove attracted interest from a wide range of bidders” (story continues below).

Time & Place recently won permission to develop part of Northcote Plaza.

The sale comes six months since Time & Place won permission to replace part of Northcote Plaza with a mixed use complex topped with an 18 storey apartment complex.

With an end value of c$500m, that development is expected to contain 600 dwellings.

A former bacon and cured meat manufacturing plant at Bastings Street recently sold to a developer.

Lucent, meanwhile, is expected to build townhouses on a 6131 sqm block at 84-96 Bastings St, which it purchased last year from Waratah Properties.

A former bacon and cured meat manufacturing plant, that property cost over $20m, again, following an off-market Colliers campaign.

Citinova backs Northcote again

Elsewhere in Northcote, Citinova, directed by Nathan Minicozzi, is behind a 23 townhouse project completed in 2014 at the south east corner of Separation Street and French Avenue.

It has also undertaken developments at Thornbury and East Brunswick, in the city’s inner north, and in Greensborough and Richmond.

Linen Services Australia is controlled by Ensign Services, owned by Spotless Group.

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Marc Pallisco

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