Dennis Family Homes is jockeying for position on the northern edge of Melbourne's development fringe, with the residential builder looking to buy land near the future suburb of Lockerbie in a deal that could be worth several million dollars.
The family-owned company has entered into an "option" agreement for a 40-hectare parcel along Donnybrook Road in Donnybrook, which is located just east of a new suburb that is expected to be home to nearly 30,000 people within 30 years. Title records show the agreement was signed within a fortnight of the Baillieu government's June 2012 announcement that six new suburbs would be created on former green wedge and farmland that had been incorporated into the city's growth boundary.
Dennis Family Corporation has declined to comment. However, a recent land sale in the area indicates the price if the option is executed could be close to $92,900 a hectare or $3.7 million.
A caveat lodged over 875 Donnybrook Road grants DF (Woodstock) FRR Pty - a subsidiary of Dennis Family Corporation - the first right of refusal to buy the land.
The group's website says the Dennis family was planning to "jointly develop" the land into more than 500 housing lots with the owners, Ian and Roslyn Martin. Title records show the Martins bought the property for $312,500 in 2001.
Earlier this year, construction materials supplier Boral sold a 127-hectare parcel of farmland nearby to Mirvac in a deal worth $11.8 million. The Donnybrook Road property had been earmarked as a future quarry but the plan was abandoned when the state government opened the area to residential development.
Mirvac plans to create a 2250-lot subdivision that will be home to more than 6000 residents. Another 60-hectare parcel will be developed later by Mirvac on Boral's behalf.