Buyers from across Australia have recognised the huge potential of Melbourne's northern growth corridor, with the historic former home of Hehr’s Pine Park Farm in Wollert selling for $2 million following a highly competitive expressions of interest campaign.
“The property presented a compelling investment proposition and investors from around Victoria and interstate jumped at the chance to be a part of Melbourne’s growth story,” Niyaz said.
Recognised by the Heritage Council of Victoria, the site dates back to 1866 when Christian Hehr purchased the land after arriving from Wurttemberg in Germany, and the family established a dairy farm that included a bluestone homestead and stables. The farm was passed down through generations within the family until being sold to a neighbour in 1974.
More than $1 million has been spent on the refurbishment and fit-out of the former bluestone stables, now home to vibrant café and restaurant Third Place, which has capacity for 400 patrons and incorporates indoor and outdoor seating, function room and commercial kitchen.
The Third Place has a 5 x 5 x 5 year lease from November 2016, currently returning $107,120 per annum plus outgoings and GST. Also on the property are 36 parking spaces, gardens, nursery and further bluestone structures.
“This historic property offered key fundamentals of a valuable retail investment, including versatility, future capital appreciation prospects, a secure lease to a highly regarded tenant, and a location underpinned massive population and rental growth prospects,” Kombi said.
Future value-add opportunities offer scope to develop, lease, licence or occupy other buildings or areas of the land, which is on a corner allotment with three street frontages totalling 206m to Epping Road, Pine Park Drive and Steadman Way. The site previously incorporated a community market and nursery and may do so again.
Niyaz said the purchaser is an experienced investor who can see the growth potential throughout Melbourne’s northern corridor, and has noted significant change seen in recent years through the neighbouring suburbs of Epping and Doreen that have enhanced the property’s long-term viability.
The site is on the edge of the Victorian Planning Authority-approved Wollert Precinct Structure Plan, which will accommodate 15,000 new dwellings for more than 42,000 people across an area of 1,434 hectares.
It is also adjacent to a proposed prep to year 12 primary and high schools and brand-new residential estates that include Lyndarum North, containing 1,800 new residences, and Amber, containing 550 residences, and is positioned at the gateway to the highly popular and recently sold out Eucalypt residential estate.
“Melburnians have a fascination with the city’s history, and the site has become a local landmark that serves as a link between the heritage of Wollert and the area’s modern-day evolution into a hub of the northern corridor,” Kombi said.
According to the Heritage Council of Victoria, Hehr's Pine Park Farm “illustrates early German building practices the manner of which the resources of the new land were put to use and both the dairy and horse breeding industries, the latter providing an essential product for farms throughout the district”.
“It is historically significant on a regional level for all of these aspects and architectural significance on a state level for remarkable intactness and the structures are related to the activities of the dairy and horse breeding.”