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Vicland adds another patch to its portfolio

Local developer Vicland is making a habit of buying big development sites from vendors who had earlier failed to get permitted projects off the ground.

Local developer Vicland is making a habit of buying big development sites from vendors who had earlier failed to get permitted projects off the ground.

This time, near the North Richmond train station, the developer has taken control of a $120 million apartment project set to replace a former factory and adjoining block between 4-14 Garfield Street, in a neglected but well-positioned industrial pocket.

Vicland's proposed 160-unit project will include two towers, of three and nine levels.

Near the busy Victoria Parade/Hoddle Street junction, and also the suburb border with Abbotsford, Collingwood and East Melbourne, the site is walking distance to Victoria Street shops where the precinct's first high-density apartment projects have been concentrated.

Last year, the Garfield Street site vendors branded their proposal Felix and marketed its 100 apartments heavily overseas.

Vicland seems to be adopting a reverse strategy - it has already started ground-works before marketing. Managing director Bill McNee would not comment about the speculated $10 million deal when contacted.

In 2011, Vicland paid $7 million for a small but prominent Southbank site at 58 Clarke Street, abutting the West Gate Freeway, which has since made way for a soldout 147-unit tower, Habitat. It was also sold after the vendors failed to secure enough apartment pre-sales. Vicland sold units in the Southbank tower while building.

Consulate to move

The German government is selling a huge South Yarra land holding which has for almost 50 years been its consulate.

The S-shaped, 2800 square metre block at 480 Punt Road includes a large adjacent rear garden.

It includes an imposing Victorian residence and several historic dwellings developed between 1850 and the 1930s, but is being marketed to developers, who may raze buildings to fit in a profitable apartment complex.

Before it was a consulate, the house, near the T-intersection of Domain Road, was separately owned by well known local families the Manifolds and Morrells.

The German government has appointed a commercial and residential agency to sell the site, recognising it may attract luxury home buyers. Ben Baines and Jeremy Gruzewski from Colliers International with Kay & Burton South Yarra's Matt Davis and Gerald Delany also expect owner-occupiers and not-for-profit groups to consider it.

A sale is expected to reap $5 million for the German government, which is understood to be seeking new premises in the CBD.

Last month it was reported the British Foreign Office was embroiled in a dispute with Peter Lew regarding the alleged sale of its $10 million consulate in ritzy Irving Road, Toorak.

New use for rifle range

VicTrack - the owner of Victoria's railway land and infrastructure - is seeking an occupant to lease the former Caulfield rifle range building, in central Elsternwick.

The low-rise red-brick building at 294 Glen Huntly Road, next door to the striking former Elsternwick Post Office, on the south-west corner of Riddell Parade, overlooks a small park which also adjoins the train station.

VicTrack will ready the building for occupancy once it finds a retail suitor.

The former hall is about 270 square metres - almost three times the size agents consider a standard strip shop.

VicTrack expects it will be refitted as a restaurant pointing to examples such as the St Ali Coffee Roasters bars in refitted buildings in South Melbourne and Carlton North.

Chunk of Broady sold

A rural investor has sold a Broadmeadows asset he has owned for more than a decade.

The prominent mixed-use complex fills a unique slice of land between Pascoe Vale Road and the Broadmeadows train station, about 15 kilometres north of town.

Comprising two buildings, the complex includes a busy bus interchange, small shopping centre and office component, leased mostly to the state government and occupied by the Magistrates Court, Centrelink and VicRoads.

The Kangan Institute is another of the 17 tenants which fill the 4300 square metre complex known as 1100 Pascoe Vale Road.

Based on the asset's annual rental return of $1.3 million, the $8 million sale reflects a very high yield of 16.25 per cent.

Jones Lang LaSalle selling agent Steven Messina said the complex has had minimal vacancy in its decade-long life, being in the heart of the Broadmeadows Activity Centre and in the only Central Activity Area in the northern metropolitan region.

Once considered an outskirt suburb, Broadmeadows has become more connected to town after the granting of recent planning permissions to extend metropolitan Melbourne as far as Kalkallo, some 35 kilometres north of the CBD.

The Broadmeadows complex was sold to a local private investor.

Big Dandenong plans

Details and images of one of the largest new office buildings to be developed in Dandenong, often dubbed Melbourne's second city, have been unveiled.

A 16,000 square metre "new generation" commercial building will fill a hole in the ground near the Dandenong train station.

Upon completion, it will hold 850 staff from the Australian Taxation Office.

The state government has compulsorily acquired large tracts of land between the Dandenong train station and Dandenong Plaza shopping centre in the hopes of reinvigorating the suburb's tired Robinson Street office precinct, shops and arcades.

It has spent almost $500 million redeveloping the first of dozens of parcels. The Tax Office building is one of Places Victoria's biggest commercial initiatives.

Earlier this month, ASX-listed Cromwell Group purchased the unbuilt Dandenong office from EPC Pacific as part of a $77 million commercial portfolio sale.

Wesley to sell

Exclusive school Wesley College will pay a $25 million opportunity cost to sell out of a headache today.

Wesley is offloading the first blocks in a four-hectare portion of land, for years an edge of its Glen Waverley campus, about 20 kilometres south-east of town.

The 11 subdivided Rose Avenue blocks, each measuring about 730 square metres, are the first release of 25 the school will sell in stages. The sell-down is expected to bring Wesley about $20 million.

Buyers can build up to three villa units on each block. Barry Plant's Adrian Santini is the marketing agent.

Wesley quietly reconfigured a master plan for the land after two years ago facing a revolt from parents and nearby residents for a more ambitious 84-unit apartment complex with a commercial component major basement car park.

In that plan, Wesley was expected to make about $45 million selling down the apartments and other components.

In 2011 Wesley agreed to pay about $16 million for a 5471 square metre block abutting its St Kilda Road campus.


Twitter: @marcpallisco

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