Victorian State Government Reaps $16 Million From Education Sites

AS TEACHERS and the cashed-up education unions bully for more pay, the cash-strapped Baillieu government has been forced to sell two prime assets including the landmark former Kangan TAFE in Gwynne Street Richmond, expected to one day make way for a  $200-million plus mixed use village.

In a busy week for school sales and listings, the state has reaped $9.25 million for the 7637 square metre inner-east site which will cease operating as a Kangan next March. The Business 1 zoned property (aerial pic, right) is heralded as the largest commercial development site to sell in Melbourne this year measured by value – but it’s estimated the property could have been worth more than $20 million should it have sold with a more flexible zoning allowing for residential redevelopment

The purchaser – an as yet unknown private investor who acquired the former school on a long settlement – is expected to pursue a rezoning, taking advantage of state government planning policies which have identified Richmond for intense redevelopment. The Richmond asset is already subdivided into 17-lots, which makes issues like planning and cash flow more flexible.

Meanwhile in the Clayton pocket of Notting Hill, about 19 kilometres south-east of the CBD, the former Monash Primary School sold for $6.8 million. The 1.7 hectare Normanby Road site was acquired by local developer Three Pillars Property Group, an active purchaser of disused public and private education facilities in Melbourne’s east.

Buyers of crown land properties (like some acquired by Three Pillars recently including the Monash school site) do not incur stamp duty charges. Three Pillars plans to replace the school with about 70 townhouses.

Savills directors Nick Peden and Clinton Baxter sold the Richmond and Clayton sites. Students from this Kangan campus will relocate to two other schools: Cremorne (part of Richmond) and Docklands.

Last year the Australian Education Union paid $16 million for a large riverside Abbotsford office next door to its headquarters which it also owns. A few years earlier the Association of Independent Schools of Victoria paid $6 million for its enormous West Melbourne headquarters.

Earlier this week three Mowbray College campuses in the outer west hit the market, expected to sell for a total of about $9 million.

Victorian teachers recently rejected a performance-based pay rise which would make effective educators the best paid in the country. A strike is set for early next month.

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Marc Pallisco

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