Major Maribyrnong Project to Test Apartment-Site Demand

9 February 2022

A landmark apartment site in Melbourne’s north, with approval for 280 apartments, is set to hit the market with price expectations of over $15 million.

The property at 19-21 White Street, Maribyrnong is within the within the Highpoint Activity Centre and comprises a major 4,940sq m landholding.

The site holds a permit, and endorsed plans, for a 12-level project designed by architects Elenberg Fraser.

The property is walking distance to Highpoint Shopping Centre and the abundant lifestyle and recreation amenity lining the Maribyrnong River.

Savills agents Benson Zhou, Julian Heatherich, Nick Garoni and Tanya Su have been appointed to handle the sale.

In-house Savills research suggests Melbourne emerged as the build-to-rent capital of Australia in 2021, with a number of new entrants to the market and numerous sites acquired by conventional residential developers for built-to-rent outcomes.

“Build-to-rent developers, or residential developers looking to undertake build-to-rent projects secured the lion share of large-scale permit-approved sites in 2021” said Benson Zhou.

“This site is really conducive to build-to-rent or delivery of the permit-approved project in a conventional apartment model, as it is so well located to fundamental amenity including retail, public transport and recreational facilities.”

A number of major projects have been completed in close proximity, with JMC Group delivering 391 apartments across a three phase development of adjoining properties, and a 78 room Quest hotel with 142 apartments also recently completed.

“With no other major permit-approved projects within the Highpoint Activity Centre, 19-21 White Street offers an impressive opportunity to create a project of defining scale,” says Mr Zhou.

“While the mixed-use precinct prefers a 10 storey limit, a unique 12-level permit was granted, as the thoughtful design of the ground floor plaza retail component was deemed to add value, and be of benefit, to the precinct and community.”

Julian Heatherich said that in the current market the projects of scale were a very rare commodity and that the limited supply of large scale sites has resulted in great competition from developers to secure suitable opportunities when made available.

“The competitiveness of site acquisition in city fringe locations and a reopening of international boarder in 2022, are key factors which are set to drive a resurgence in the suburban site and apartment sale markets” Mr Heatherich said.

The property will be sold via an Expression of Interest process closing Wednesday 8 March.