Steggles owners buy $60m North Richmond farm

Hambledon Park is in North Richmond, 67km northwest of Sydney’s CBD.
Hambledon Park is in North Richmond, 67km northwest of Sydney’s CBD.

The family behind huge poultry brands such as Steggles and Barter, that is also one of the country’s most profitable property developers, has snapped up a major grazing farm in North Richmond for about $60 million.

The Baiada family’s private Sydney development firm EJ Cooper & Son, that makes profits of more than $100 million a year from a string of projects in Sydney’s west and Queensland’s southeast, has swooped on the property known as Hambledon Park.

The play is not expected to mark a diversification of their agricultural holdings, rather it could see the parcel, that was originally marketed with a price tag of up to $140 million, turned over to housing development.

The Peel and Beamont families tapped Cushman & Wakefield to sell the agricultural land package about 67km northwest of Sydney’s CBD, last year.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Anthony Bray and James Linacre fielded interest from developers and agricultural industries for the property.

The Peel family bought Hambledon Park in 1972 and built it into a 1200-cow dairy farm supplying Sydney for 28 years. In recent years, dairy cattle were replaced with a breeding herd of about 300 black angus cattle.

The Baiada family has one of the biggest land banks in the country and has grown to more than 20,000 residential lots, as well as commercial and residential properties across NSW and Queensland.

EJ Cooper & Sons is the parent company of property firm Celestino, taking its name from the late Celestino Baiada, who came to Australia from Malta in 1916 and built what became the giant chicken business, as buying up major parcels of land for future development.

Celestino is also building the $5bn Sydney Science Park in Sydney’s west, near the new airport being built at Badgerys Creek. The company was a canny trader ahead of the coronavirus crisis striking.

Listed residential developer Stockland in March forked out $415 million to buy into one of Celestino’s Sydney residential estates that has an end value of about $4bn. Stockland bought the undeveloped portion of The Gables estate, a 293ha residential block in Sydney’s Box Hill, where more than $1 billion of housing remains to be developed.

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