Stockland is paying Celestino Property Development, which is owned by poultry entrepreneurs the Baiada family, $415 million for the undeveloped 196 hectare portion of The Gables housing estate, in Sydney’s Box Hill.
The master-planned community has since 2015 been replacing 293 hectares of dairy farm land, nearly 50 kilometres north west of the city.
Upon completion it will include housing of a variety of densities on lots between 240-2000 square metres.
It will also contain a K-12 school and four hectare lake as part of 75 hectares of green space.
The end value of the property product has been estimated at about $4 billion.
Celestino has built 994 dwellings since launching.
Following today’s deal Stockland will develop a further 1900 homes over the life of the project. It will pay down its outlay over seven years.
Stockland will take over sales from April
In Sydney’s Hills district, The Gables on Old Pitt Town Road is eight kilometres north west of Rouse Hill Town Centre and the Rouse Hill and Tallawong Road train stations.
Stockland group executive and chief executive officer, Andrew Whitson, said the “rare opportunity” to purchase a residential zoned parcel in the city allows it to extend its brand presence in the north-west growth corridor, which he considers under-supplied.
In Marsden Park, about 12 kilometres south west of Box Hill, Stockland is building the Elara estate.
“We will start selling land at The Gables immediately after settling on the project in April, and expect to realise operating profit from FY21 with forecast returns over our hurdle rates,” Mr Whitson said.
“We are committed to delivering new homes in desirable, well connected locations close to transport, jobs and schools as Sydney continues to grow, providing more opportunities for first home buyers and families to enter the property market,” he added.
Our model allows us to restock residential development pipeline: Stockland
Stockland managing director and chief executive officer, Mark Steinhart, said the Box Hill acquisition is in line with the company’s strategy to restock its residential development pipeline.
“Well located, market-ready projects which increase our exposure to the strong Sydney residential land market,” are on its radar.
“We have a clear strategy to leverage our diversified business model to maximise securityholder returns through community creation,” the executive said.
“Celestino…has created a vibrant, thriving community at The Gables and we see our integrated model continuing to add value through the delivery of quality homes, community spaces and a retail town centre”.
The builder’s chief executive officer John Vassallo added he was pleased to see the project sold to another group “committed to the vision”.
“The Gables was based on quality and sustainability and we are extremely proud of the parks, public spaces and homes that have been delivered so far,” Mr Vassallo said.
“What I am most proud of is the community we have created…and we are confident that this legacy will remain strong for generations to come”.
News of The Gables land acquisitions comes two months after we reported Stockland was paying $15 million for a timber yard in Melbourne’s inner north Brunswick, earmarked to make way for townhouses and about 150 apartments.