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Housing mooted for Bundoora quarry following expected $70m deal

A former Bundoora quarry, marketed as an infill residential redevelopment opportunity, is speculated to be selling for about $70 million.

The 46 hectare site at 149 McImmes Road, about 15 kilometres north of the CBD, is the third major metropolitan quarry to trade in the past two years, following the sale of the 9.2 hectare ex-Norvel Road clay pit in Ferntree Gully to Chinese investors.

A 162.7 hectare former Lilydale Quarry, once owned by Dame Nellie Melba’s father, David Mitchell, also exchanged recently, to a consortium including BRW Rich List families the Smorgons and Scanlons.

Zoned industrial, the Bundoora land has, according to the selling agents, “vast technical due diligence support to expediate investigations for a staged development approach of varying housing types”.

Bound on one side to Darebin Creek, and close to public transport services including Plenty Road trams and the Thomastown train station, the site has been progressively packed with clean fill since 2000.

It was branded as a potential new suburb – New Haven – for the marketing campaign, which was managed by CBRE’s Julian White, Mark Wizel and Scott Orchard, with Urbis’ Marcus Conabere as transaction manager.


The agents declined to comment on the sales campaign, which is under exclusive due diligence.

The proposed Outer Metropolitan Ring road, or E6, will run close to the McKimmes Road site.

Six months ago, Chinese developer Hong Se International, announced plans to build 250 townhouses on a former Robertson Industries owned quarry in Norvel Road, Ferntree Gully, which it acquired for more than $30 million at the end of 2016, as part of a buying spree which also saw it snap up an Ashwood block.

Last June, Intrapac Property, Hume Partners and Bayport Group said it planned to replace an ex-Lilydale quarry with a housing estate containing between 2000 and 3000 dwellings and accommodating up to 9000 residents.

Their parcel includes vacant tracts of farmland and the Cave Hill quarry established in 1878 by David Mitchell, containing former dairy and bacon factories. The Lilydale-to-Melbourne train line also runs through this site, providing the potential for a station to stop at the new suburb.

Hampton heights limited

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has supported the Bayside City Council in limiting the height of a contentious apartment project in Hampton, about 14 kilometres south of the CBD.

The decision means an eight-level proposal in Railway Crescent would be cut to six storeys. Affecting other sites around the Hampton train station, the council considers VCAT’s decision “a win” and validation of “community concerns about excessive height”.

“VCAT’s decision sends a strong message to all developers that the height limits council has set for this area are appropriate and developers should not seek to exceed them,” Bayside City Council mayor Cr Laurence Evans said.

“The decision … addresses state government requirements to facilitate development in activity centres where there are shops, services and public transport while protecting the valued character of the precinct."

In another suburb 14 kilometres from the CBD – Box Hill – Jeff Xu, the director of Golden Age Group, has just submitted plans to build three towers, the tallest rising 18 storeys, at 517-521 Station Street, a site he bought from the City of Whitehorse council for $51.8 million in 2016. The end value of the Golden Age Group project in Box Hill is estimate at $350 million.

Strong suburban site sale, again

A development site in Malvern East, permit-ready for a medium density apartment complex with 46 flats across five floors, is understood to be close to sale for about $11 million.

In the immediate area of the Darling station, and zoned Residential Growth 2, the 1707 square metre block in Hurstmon Street, was being marketed by Colliers International’s Hamish Burgess and Ben Baines, who declined to comment.

Melbourne’s suburban development site sector was a stellar performer last year, with several suburbs achieving record rates per square metre.

Last year, Benson Property Group outlaid what was considered a bullish price – $10.5 million – for a Hawthorn office on a 1221 square metre block that is now earmarked for a residential redevelopment.

Repurpose for ex-National Tiles HQ

Frank Walker, who is perhaps best recognised for his voiceover and distinctive “hello”, in the radio ads for his business, National Tiles, is seeking to convert that company’s ex-Port Melbourne warehouse, to allow for residential use.

An application to demolish buildings on the 541 Graham Street site to allow for residential is being reviewed by the state’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

The site abuts the enormous roundabout which connects the Westgate Freeway to the Citilink and the Bolte Bridge. Since 2012, the block has formed part of the Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Zone. It is also only a few hundred metres from the Docklands waterfront.

Mr Walker embarked on a campaign to sell or lease the 1.4 hectare property in about 2012. At the time it was estimated to be worth about $16 million, based on a land rate of just over $1100 per square metre.

By last year, some development sites in Fishermans Bend were trading at a rate valuing land at more than $4000 per square metre.

While the Port Melbourne application is being reviewed, Mr Walker is seeking a tenant to occupy the site for a period of up to five years. The city fringe industrial site, with a 7318 square metre warehouse, 393 square metre office and large car park, is for lease via CBRE’s Guy Naselli.

Last May it was reported National Tiles pre-leased a 14,871 square metre purpose built distribution centre in Truganina, about 22 kilometres west of town, to developed by Frasers Property at its West Park Industrial Estate.

Mixed use plan for the bend

Meanwhile, a nearby commercial property also in the Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Zone is mooted for a major mixed-use development.

The office complex at 18-22 Salmon Street Port Melbourne famously sold for $27.5 million to residential builders a year ago returning a substantial capital gain for the vendors, investors, which paid $12.1 million three years earlier.

The new owners have appealed a decision by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal that refused their plan for the 9712 square metre block adding a supermarket, shop, offices, primary school, library, community hall and place of assembly.

Twelve-level apartment buildings, containing a total of about 260 flats, as well as 290 bike parks and 426 car spaces, are also proposed for the project, named on social media as Wirraway Central.

The site is not far away from the Johnston Street parcel developer Mario Salvo bought from Bill McNee for $40 million last year. This site is set to make way for Fishermans Bend’s tallest structures of over 40 levels.