Ex-footballer Fraser Brown outlaying $70m+ for Melbourne outskirt site: sources

AFL footballer-turned-property developer, Fraser Brown, is speculated to be paying more than $70 million for another development site in Melbourne’s south-east.

The 48-hectare parcel at 205 Hardys Road in Clyde North, about 48 kilometres from the CBD, was marketed for its potential to be subdivided into 557 housing lots, leaving a 10-hectare portion for a commercial development.

About an eight-minute drive south of the Princes Highway and with frontage to Tucker Road, the holding is opposite a proposed major town centre.

It is also near another Clyde North housing estate, Meridian, which the 47-year old (nicknamed “Dog” during his football career because of his shaggy hair and fierce playing style), is completing.

The Hardys Road site, part of the Thompson Road Precinct Structure Plan, is a short drive from the Cranbourne Park and Springhill shopping centres, Casey Leisure Centre, and Cranbourne racetrack with the nearby Royal Botanic Gardens.

Other developers in the area include Villawood, which is developing the Delarey Estate; 5Squared Property Group (The New Bloom); and Frasers Property (Berwick Waters).

MAB Corporation plans to replace a 38-hectare plot it bought at the end of last year with a $150 million master-planned business park.

According to City of Casey research, the municipality is expected to boom 65 per cent, to a population of more than 514,000, by 2041.

Biggin & Scott Land’s Frank Nagle and Andrew Egan, who marketed 205 Hardys Road, declined to comment about the campaign.

In 2014, Brown Property Group completed a major housing estate, The Avenue at Casey, in Cranbourne North, about 41 kilometres south-east of the CBD.

Mr Brown is also preparing to market an estate, Canopy at Amstel, which will replace a 48-hectare golf course in Cranbourne that his company bought for a reported $48 million in 2015.

In a strategic plan, in 2014 Mr Brown paid a farmer a reported $14 million for a 41-hectare Clyde North holding at 1350 Pound Road, which was not at the time zoned for residential development.

Portmans’ founding family list prominent Richmond corner

Melbourne’s Bloom family, which established the Portmans brand in the 1940s, is selling a site at one of Richmond’s most valuable retail corners.

The double-storey asset, which Portmans occupied for years, spreads across a 720-square-metre block at the north-east corner of Bridge Road and Lennox Street, about two kilometres east of the CBD.

Fully leased to a mix of high-profile tenants including Sony Music Entertainment, 143-151 Bridge Road returns annual rent of $533,000 and is expected to sell for more than $9 million.

“The property is insulated from any volatility in Bridge Road through quality long-term leases, the strength of the Epworth precinct, and over 10 major apartment projects under construction or now complete within 200 metres,” CBRE’s Rorey James said.

“To secure major banks ANZ and Suncorp, both of whom would have undertaken substantial due diligence, is testament to the quality and exposure of this location and also the future growth prospects of Bridge Road.”

Garry Dumbrell buys another south-east office

Retired Autobahn founder Garry Dumbrell is continuing to build his impressive suburban office portfolio, securing a Malvern East asset prior to auction for about $8 million.

The 1621-square-metre double-storey office at 1949 Malvern Road, with frontage to Illowa Street, is configured as nine separate tenancies and a 47-bay basement car park.

The asset, on a 1212-square-metre L-shaped block about seven kilometres south-east of the CBD, has redevelopment potential once leases expire in 2022. It returns annual rent of $496,073.

Gorman Commercial managing director Stephen Gorman, who marketed the property for a private investor, said Mr Dumbrell had strategically continued to buy one of the strongest portfolios of eastern suburbs office buildings he had seen.

Two years ago, Mr Dumbrell paid $9.85 million for a Malvern East office at 1911 Malvern Road. Not long beforehand, he paid $10.3 million for an investment in Cotham Road, Kew.

Longriver buys MTS HQ

Longriver Group is the mystery new owner of the city’s Melbourne Theosophical Society building, which sold for about $23 million in July.

The distinctive c.1923 building at 124-130 Russell Street, designed by architect Meldrum Burrows & Partners, rises six storeys with a net lettable area of 2561 square metres.

The MTS paid $810,000 for the site 45 years ago – at the time it was an Olympia Motors showroom. It reopened as the group headquarters in 1975 and was refurbished again in 1999.

Without a heritage overlay, the 519-square-metre holding attracted interest from developers and investors when it was marketed by Savills Clinton Baxter, Nick Peden and Benson Zhou in conjunction with David O’Callaghan of O’Callaghan Commercial.

Part of the building was offered with a two-year leaseback to the MTS, which plans to use the sale of proceeds of 124-130 Russell Street to buy a smaller city headquarters. Ten businesses and four shops also operate out of the asset.

The purchase comes five months after Longriver paid Greek petrol magnate Andreas Andrianopoulous $22.55 million for a BP service station in Box Hill. The 1972-square-metre site at 843 Whitehorse Road is mooted for an apartment building (Longriver is already building a 280-unit complex at 820 Whitehorse Road and a hotel at No.878).

Last month the developer, directed by Melbourne-based Yunhe “Andrew” Yu, banked $6.25 million after selling a 661-square-metre development site at 207 Bridge Road, Richmond, with a permit for an eight-level, 51-unit apartment complex.

Brighton campaign over before it begins

An investor’s knock-out offer of more than $11 million bought a prime Brighton retail asset on day two of the campaign – last Tuesday.

The first printed advertisements for the Church Street investment, Cosmopolitan Place, will run with a “sold” banner this weekend.

In the extraordinary deal proving the depth of demand for assets at that price point, the property scheduled for auction at the end of November carried a reserve price of $9 million.

The deal was struck at a sub 3 per cent yield shortly after the marketing agency, CBRE, circulated a “forthcoming auction” email to its database. Rorey James, Josh Rutman and Mark Wizel were the brokers.

Mr James said a severe shortage of investment-grade stock in the $5 million to $15 million price range was contributing to continuing low yields this year.

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