Stockland buys ex-caravan park for townhouses

The site (marketed by Colliers as Eastern Park), neighbouring the heritage listed ex-Hoyts Wantirna Drive-In, sold for a speculated $60.9m.

Stockland has acquired another infill Melbourne site for townhouses.

The former caravan park at 203 Mountain Highway, Wantirna, was offered by Longriver, which paid $35.5m in 2016.

On 8.33 hectares, it abuts the ex-Hoyts Wantirna Drive-In, which closed in 1984 but is still configured – and in 2007 was heritage listed.

That neighbouring site forms part of a master-planned precinct, Wantirna Health, which the state government intends to replace with a 64-bed hospital, research and education facilities.

Knox Private Hospital is across the road.

Wantirna is about 24 kilometres east of town.

At the opposite side of town, Stockland is replacing the ex-Secon Freight Logistics site at Altona North with a townhouse project, Haven.

Last month the group spent c$50m on a low density housing site in Tarneit – about 20km west of there.

The Wantirna proposal

Longriver listed the Wantirna site with a scheme for 350 townhouses and an apartment complex; a village Colliers’ Trent Hobart, Jozef Dickinson, Hamish Burgess and Oliver Hay, branded Eastern Park (story continues below).

Stockland is scaling this down – sticking to a permitted plan for 248 units.

The c5500 sqm super-lot which can make way for the medium density component, will be replaced at a later date, the purchaser added (this land could also accommodate an aged care community or commercial investment).

“This acquisition aligns with our strategy to re-stock our residential pipeline early in the cycle, in target corridors with strong demand fundamentals and expected total returns above our hurdle rates,” Stockland Communities Group executive and chief executive officer, Andrew Whitson said.

“This is a great site in a rapidly gentrifying middle ring suburb of Melbourne that we will transform into a highly liveable community.

The diversified developer and investor is completing another residential village, Waterlea, in Rowville – about 10km south of Wantirna.

Incorporating the historic Stamford Park homestead, that project includes 138 townhouses, 22 standalone or semi-detached homes and 30 apartments.

Stockland general manager, Built Form, Ben Cantwell, said “with less than 20 homes remaining, the popularity of our Waterlea community has demonstrated the demand that exists for architecturally designed and sustainable townhouses with access to high quality private and public open spaces”.

The Wantirna village should be marketed by mid-next year.

Longriver listed the land with $60m price hopes, which is what it achieved.

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Marc Pallisco

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