High rise too hot: Growland snaps up Melb house-and-land site

PUBLICATION: Australian Financial Review

Melbourne developer Growland has joined the rush of Asian-backed developers moving out of the cooling inner-city apartment market and into the strongly performing outer suburban land market after paying more than $70 million for a site in the city’s west.

Growland, founded in 2013 by architect Stephen Yau and entrepreneur Bruce Chan and with a $1.3 billion pipeline of projects, paid a steep $1.5 million a hectare for the 62-hectare site at 1030 Dohertys Road, Tarneit – about 28 kilometres west of the Melbourne CBD.

The rural property, which sits within the new suburb of Tarneit North, has the capacity for between 900 and 1000 lots with end value of around $240 million.

Title deeds show the current owner as Mounira El Houli with a company called A1 Wirrebee Birds & Stock Feeds operating from the same address.

Land prices have shot up in Melbourne’s west, delivering massive windfalls to rural landowners who by luck or design have found themselves owning property zoned for residential use.

Last year, Chinese high-rise developer New Sky moved into the house and land market, paying $60 million for a 64-hectare housing project in Tarneit with approval for 800 lots, Chinese real estate giant Dahua paid $350 million for a huge land bank in Melbourne’s west and China’s Fucheng Group acquired the last remaining parcel of the Baillieu family’s vast Woodhouse Station for about $100 million.