Apartments plan for Geelong site after circa $9m sale
A Melbourne developer is in early stages of planning a new apartment project after acquiring a key Brougham St property.
The circa $9 million sale at 10-18 Brougham St is set to unlock another significant CBD site as planners target creating homes for more than 10,000 residents in central Geelong by 2030.
Gartland, Geelong director Michael De Stefano negotiated the deal for the 1821sq m property after a six-week expressions of interest campaign.
“A Melbourne-based developer has bought it. They are going through some early planning stages but I think their desire is to build apartments.”
It will be a neighbour to a proposed $300 million hotel, retail and apartment complex at the Dennys Lascelles woolstore at 20-28 Brougham St.
Mr De Stefano said the property, which has two buildings and a car park, drew a wide range of interest, with six offer lodged.
“We went through a six week EOI period with interest from Melbourne, local, interstate and even a bit of international interest,” he said.
He said the buyers understand the interest in the Geelong market.
“What we have seen over the past couple of years is only the beginning,” he said.
“In terms of where Geelong is heading with population growth, it’s an untapped market that we are about to see come to fruition.”
Recent success of apartment projects augers well for the future, with dwellings sold out before construction was finished on the Miramar and Mercer buildings, while less than 30 homes are still to sell in the Ryrie Home project, currently under construction, Mr De Stefano said.
Mr De Stefano said the drop in the affordability and block sizes of Geelong’s sprawling estates had improved the depth of the apartment market.
“Apartment living where the action is has become a real lifestyle choice,” he said.
Melbourne developer Tim Gurner has partnered with Geelong property identity Dean Montgomery as the lead developer at Dennys Lascelles building recently, with plans to deliver a five-star hotel that will feature a retail and hospitality offering at the ground floor.
The developers are expected to lodge an amendment in late 2022 to an existing permit for a 12-storey commercial building on the site.
Mr De Stefano said it’s is a sign of confidence in Geelong.
“It’s great to see that type of investment in Geelong,” he said.
“It’s a sign of confidence when someone like Tim Gurner comes into Geelong and wants to do something like that – their product is something that is the luxury end of the market.”
But there is plenty of activity behind the scenes, with multistorey apartment projects approved in Hays Place and Mercer St and under application in Bellerine St and Mercer St.
Mr De Stefano said developers recently gobbled up for than 2500sq m of land for future development east of Officeworks in Malop St in an off-market deal.
EYE ON FUTURE GROWTH
Meanwhile, the buyer of a 340sq m commercial property at the bay end of Yarra St is banking on future growth in the city.
The property at 11 Yarra St, which has a 160sq m shop opposite Westfield, sold for $1.9 million.
CBRE Melbourne agent David Minty said the buyer made the purchase as an owner-occupier.
“They’ve got a business and saw the future growth in Geelong and realised the city was rapidly evolving,” he said.
“He wants to buy ahead of the curve. He’s seen there will be future opportunities around Geelong for capital growth.”
The property’s previous owner, Geelong developer Ben Fabretto, obtained a planning permit for a 7-level mixed-use development.
PLANS FOR HISTORIC PUB
A Geelong investor has paid $1.7 million for the former Harp Inn, with plans to install a new tenant.
The 335sq m property at 22 Pakington St, Geelong West, sold in a quick campaign with a $1.65 million to $1.75 million price guide.
“It’s got car parking and it’s got great exposure not only to Pakington St, where you’re next door to King of the Castle, but to the highway as well,” Mr De Stefano said.
“And I think it will be a new tenant in there at some stage and I’m excited to see what they’re going to do that property.”