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07 Apr

IOOF pays $20.75m for slice of ex-GMH factory, Dandenong South

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IOOF’s latest purchase in Dandenong South. Photo: Supplied Map Coffee founder Pitzy Folk is relocating his central office to Windsor. Photo: Eddie Jim EJZ
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An artist’s impression of the controversial Marvella Heights apartment project in Ballarat. Photo: Supplied

IOOF Investment Management is paying $20.75 million for a high-profile building within Cbus Property’s Estate One – an office and industrial park replacing Dandenong South’s iconic General Motors Holden plant, which operated at the address for some 40 years until the 1990s.

In an off-market deal struck on a 7 per cent yield, the asset manager is acquiring 45 Assembly Drive – a four-level, 4432-square-metre office completed by the Hacer Group in 2014.

Three major tenants, including the Country Fire Authority, with lease naming rights, occupy more than 90 per cent of the building which also includes a 213-bay basement car park.

IOOF senior portfolio manager Simon Gross told BusinessDay it will build another commercial asset on a vacant part of the super-sized, 9548-square-metre block.

“We were attracted by the significant lot size, the long eight-year WALE [Weighted Average Lease Expiry], the stunning presentation … and the high quality of three flagship tenants,” Mr Gross said of the asset, earmarked for IOOF’s direct property portfolio.

Colliers International director Peter Bremner was the marketing agent.

Cbus Property CEO Adrian Pozzo said the sale is part of an ongoing strategy to divest parts of Estate One once value was maximised.

Cbus paid Phileo Australia $136.5 million for the 46-hectare former car plant, at 81-125 Princes Highway, in 2007.

Phileo, which paid GMH $22.5 million 10 years earlier, repurposed the factory as an exclusive industrial park, but sold out of the development opportunity after constructing only a handful of new buildings. Its sale to Cbus included 12 hectares of undeveloped land and about 90,000 square metres of ageing GMH-related factories.

After producing more than 4 million vehicles, GMH closed the factory 25 years ago – the last model it produced being the Nova, and Toyota Corolla-badged twin. The General Motors railway station, which the car company paid to construct in 1956, closed in 2004.

Modern Bendigo office sells

A near new Bendigo office leased to the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, with options, until 2029, has sold to an investor for just over $10 million.

The three-storey, 1957-square-metre asset at 7-15 McLaren Street offers depreciation benefits as well as an annual rental return of more than $710,000, next year, from the next lease period, starting in December.

The NABERS 5.5-star energy rated building sits on a 1924-square-metre block with 44 on-site car parks.

Burgess Rawson’s Jamie Perlinger and Shaun Venables, with Tweed Sutherland First National’s Craig Tweed and Tom Harrop, closed an expressions of interest campaign in mid-July.

Investor flipping in Ballarat

An investor is flipping a Ballarat site after obtaining a controversial permit to build flats – a practice which has recently proven profitable for Melbourne land dealers.

The opportunity to build Marvella Heights on a long-vacant central site for years owned by the state education department, is asking about $3.5 million.

At 29 St Pauls Way, Bakery Hill, the 9608-square-metre block was recently permitted to make way for 102 dwellings – 77 of these apartments within three buildings, the tallest rising four levels.

To the surprise of locals, the land fell into private hands nearly two years ago, after the state government sold it to BEST Employment, which on-sold it to the current owner. Gross Waddell’s Andrew Waddell and Andrew Thorburn have the listing.

Spotswood activity centre proposed

Spotswood may soon be hard to miss to commuters taking the West Gate Bridge, with the owner of a large industrial site near the train station advertising plans to build a neighbourhood activity centre with 346 dwellings in buildings rising between five and nine storeys.

The plan for 31-69 McLister Street also includes a medical centre, bottle shop and supermarket with a cafe, chemist and specialty retail. The permit request seeks for a reduction in the statutory car parking requirements for the land, seven kilometres west of town.

Tick for city’s first Skypark

The divide between the south-west edge of the CBD and Lang Walker’s multibillion Collins Square project, in Docklands, is set to be filled after planning minister Richard Wynne approved Lendlease’s proposed Melbourne Quarter village this week.

The $2 billion plan includes about 1690 dwellings in three skyscrapers, set to rise over six years in and around where the Bunjil sculpture was erected in 2002.

Half of the 2.5-hectare site is earmarked to become public space, and will include Melbourne’s first Skypark opposite the Southern Cross train station west of The Age office, Media House.

Lendlease secured developments rights over the Batman Hill airspace between Collins and Flinders streets, in 2013. The precinct is where John Batman, one of Melbourne’s founders, built the home he lived until his death in 1839.

In 1998, the Grollo Tower – a landmark 560-metre super-scraper (which replaced an earlier 678-metre concept) was rejected for development in this pocket. Bruno Grollo, who proposed that controversial structure, went on to build the 297-metre Eureka Tower in Southbank, currently Melbourne’s tallest building.

Folk buys in Windsor with taxpayer funds

Fresh from banking $19 million of taxpayer dollars selling his Fishermans Bend headquarters to the government, businessman Pitzy Folk will relocate his central office a few kilometres south, to Windsor, after buying a historic building for years owner-occupied by Telstra as part of an exchange.

The former hotelier and restaurateur turned coffee roaster and director of boutique soft drink chain, CAPI, is paying about $6.5 million for 168 Peel Street, a red-brick building opposite the Windsor train station, five kilometres south of the CBD.

On an 817-square-metre block, the vacant 1387-square-metre structure was marketed by CBRE’s Tom Tuxworth, David Minty and Josh Rutman, with Colliers International’s Peter Bremner and Jeremy Gruzewski.

The pre-emptive rezoning of Fishermans Bend by the former Liberal planning minister Matthew Guy prompted a huge spike in land values and caused major planning headaches later when the government was forced to buy-back sites at inflated values to use as public open space.

Mr Folk’s CAPI warehouse at 2-4 Buckhurst Street, South Melbourne, was one of those parcels.

The government delivered a windfall to Mr Folk, who paid $4.4 million for the 4000-square-metre block in 2008, when it purchased the site for $19 million last year to use as a park.

Mr Folk had previously lodged plans to replace the CAPI site with a much more profitable mixed-use village containing two apartment buildings.

The Napthine government’s botched rezoning increased the buy-back costs of public open space by as much as $340 million, some estimates suggest.

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