Beachside Frankston Caltex among seven to be sold

The Caltex Frankston petrol station is opposite the beach.
The Caltex Frankston petrol station is opposite the beach.

One of the nation’s biggest fuel providers is selling off seven Melbourne petrol stations to developers.

The sales by Caltex will shut bowsers from Pascoe Vale to Frankston, and they have plans to dump even more sites early next year.

The Melbourne properties are among 25 the fuel giant is selling off nationwide, and expected to drive developer demand with prominent addresses and large allotments.

Commercial Insights: Subscribe to receive the latest news and updates

Sources close to the sale have tipped bowsers to stop pumping late this year, or early next.

Suburbs set to lose a petrol station are Forest Hill, Box Hill, Brunswick East, Clayton, Frankston, Carnegie and Pascoe Vale.

A Caltex spokesman says the properties are being sold as they “continue to review and evolve our network” and “they have been identified as being able to deliver a higher value through alternative use”.

The Caltex petrol station on the corner of Lygon and Blyth streets in Brunswick East is expected to close by the year’s end.

“As part of our ongoing network strategy we will continue to open new sites and invest in existing locations,” the spokesman says.

“In Victoria, we have opened five new sites over the last 18 months.

“While the six sites for sale will remain operational as we work through the sale process, when they close we have ensured there is a StarCard accepting site within four kilometres so we can continue to meet the needs of our customers.”

The Australian Association of Convenience Stores said the first half of 2019 had been positive thanks to ongoing efforts to provide fresh food and coffee at retail points within petrol stations.

“Though it’s low margin, petrol is important because it adds to the value proposition we provide our customers, and it makes our stores a destination for additional purchases,” said AACS chief executive Geoff Rogut.

The chain’s Clayton petrol station neighbours a significant shopping strip.

CBRE investments director Mark Wizel is handling the sales, in conjunction with Stonebridge Property Group, and says with few development sites for sale in Melbourne it is expected the sites will spark demand from across Australia and Asia.

Wizel says prices for individual properties are likely to be in the millions, though it is possible one buyer would swoop on multiple sites.

“The real value is the air rights above,” he says.

“It’s most likely the sites will suit between 40 and 80 apartments.”

The petrol stations will appeal in a market where most of the sites currently for sale are being offloaded by other developers.

“To buy from Caltex as a corporate entity, we are very confident that the pricing associated with the sites will be reflective of market value,” Wizel says.

The petrol distributor will remediate the sites before development starts.

Across Australia a further 25 petrol stations are expected to be announced for sale in the first three months of next year.

This article from the Herald Sun originally appeared as “Melbourne petrol stations set to close: Caltex selling seven sites”.