No apartments: Childcare centre swoops on $60m South Melbourne site
A childcare operator has trumped developers by paying $60 million for a South Melbourne development site with permits for four residential towers and more than 1000 apartments.
But Little Lane Early Learning Centre has reportedly vowed not to proceed with the mammoth residential development, and will instead build what could be Melbourne’s most impressive childcare facility.
The site at 68 Buckhurst St spans 9356sqm and was earmarked for 1004 Fender Katsalidis-designed apartments, plus retail and commercial spaces, with Chinese-backed vendor Botree Group securing permits for the development.
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However selling agent Savills suggests Little Land will shelve the tower plan in favour of the childcare centre.
Benson Zhou, who facilitated the deal with colleagues Nick Peden and Jesse Radisich, in conjunction with Colliers International’s Bryson Cameron, Trent Hobart and Hamish Burgess, says the proposed childcare centre will have features unlike almost any other centre in Australia.
“The plan is to engage a world-renowned architect to design the early learning centre, as well as incorporate facilities like an indoor swimming pool and indoor rock climbing wall,” Zhou says.
The site is adjacent to the planned South Melbourne Park Primary School, as well as a large area of parkland.
Little Lane Early Learning Centre is looking to establish itself in the Melbourne market, with one childcare centre at Hawthorn already in the pipeline and set to open early in the new year.
The company already operates numerous centres in Brisbane and Sydney under its Avenues Early Learning banner.
The plan is to engage a world-renowned architect to design the early learning centre, as well as incorporate facilities like an indoor swimming pool and indoor rock climbing wall
Zhou says the final agreement for the South Melbourne site took some time to thrash out.
“All vendors, purchasers, lawyers from both side and agents were in the same meeting room from noon until midnight and after 12 hours of negotiations, we finally shook hands,” he says.
Cameron says that the site’s location
“At nearly a hectare of land and less than one kilometre from the city, this was truly a rare offering,” he says.
“The site is surrounded by every conceivable amenity, including close proximity to the Crown Entertainment Complex and an abundance of South Melbourne retail.