Stockland Pays $58 Million For Two Major Development Sites, Melbourne

Sources say Stockland paid Investa about $26 million for the smaller Wollert block, and about $32 million to interests associated with former developer Wilbow, for the larger 65 hectare parcel.

Elsewhere in the immediate area, Stockland is marketing housing estates at Mernda, Hawkstowe and Highlands.

Last year it was reported the Melbourne-based Evolve Development purchased a 60 hectare site in Wollert, which it is converting into a $300 million village. The first blocks in this development are due to settle from April.

Wollert is mostly farmland wedged between the established suburbs of Craigieburn, Epping and Mernda. It has become much more accessible to town given the opening in late 2005 of the Hume Freeway (previously known as the Craigieburn Bypass), which connects the Metropolitan Ring Road to the Hume Highway, sidestepping the busy industrial hubs of Broadmeadows, Campbellfield and Somerton.

Meanwhile investors may be offered two major inner-city properties, if Stockland makes good on its promise this week to offload apartment development sites which are not performing well, or are in keeping with its new “mixed use” focus.

In Melbourne, Stockland owns a prominent development site at 557 – 565 St Kilda Road, once part of the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind headquarters – but most recently used as the popular Belgian Beer Cafe’s garden forecourt.

Sources say the prestigious neighbouring Wesley College has eyed the site for some years, but the school didn’t put its hat in the ring, when Vision Australia listed the site for sale two years ago.

Stockland also owns a site in Yarra Street, South Yarra, which it failed to obtain a 35-level permit for, last year. It has since reapplied with council to build a lower 29-level, 353-unit proposal. Stockland paid $26.3 million for this site in 2008.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.

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