Woolworths buys Oakleigh car yard

Fabcot recently sold Cameron Park Plaza for $60.25 million.

Woolworths’ development arm Fabcot has paid over $37 million for a collection of Oakleigh sites including the prominent Garry & Warren Smith car dealership.

The deal includes a 2.04 hectare amalgamation, 1569-1591 Dandenong Road, which set the group back $31.5m.

The Chadstone Toyota dealership, in Oakleigh, hit the market this week.

A block behind that, 15A Park Rd, also once owned by the motor giant, spreads 2811 square metres, and cost c$6m.

Fabcot is expected to develop a supermarket-based shopping centre there, possibly with a residential component, however this couldn’t be confirmed; the land is in the process of being rezoned from industrial.

Elsewhere in Melbourne, the group last year sold a Woolworths-backed mall, on 1.43ha in Epping, to SCA Property Group and GIC for $35m, reflecting a five per cent capitalisation rate.

In May Fabcot divested the 3.77ha Cameron Park Plaza, west of Newcastle, to Centuria for $60.25m.

String of Oakleigh car yards offered

The Oakleigh sale comes 18 months since respected car dealer, Warren Smith, who chaired the Garry & Warren Smith Group, died, aged 86.

The executive took over the business – with nine used car dealerships – when his father, Reg, was killed in a motorsport accident in 1960.

The group started selling new cars in 1969 – which was also when it acquired the Oakleigh site, then 3.4ha.

In recent years, the dealership trades in Kia, Mitsubishi and Suzuki makes, and has a used car component (story continues below).

It used to offer Holdens and Hondas until the pandemic.

Elsewhere in the pocket – diagonally adjacent to the Fabcot block – private investor Fuxin Pty Ltd last year paid Preston Motors $32.6m for the Chadstone Ford and Hyundai dealership, on 6942 sqm, zoned Commercial 1.

Also in Oakleigh, this week, the Chadstone Toyota dealership hit the market via CBRE’s Nathan Mufale, Scott Hawthorne, David Minty and JJ Heng.

Spreading 5577 sqm and zoned Commercial 1 as well – it is being marketed squarely to builders.

“The zoning provides for several higher order uses,” Mr Minty said.

“We’re fielding strong early interest from private and institutional residential developers and Build to Rent operators,” he added.

Earlier this year, Orchard Piper paid $67m for the outgoing Worrells Mercedes dealership, in Toorak, while Make Ventures acquired the Preston Toyota car yard, on 1.4ha, north of town, for $40m.

Both those properties are earmarked for medium-term, high density residential redevelopment.

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Marc Pallisco

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