Monark Property Partners, the real estate financier backed by Melbourne’s ultra-wealthy Liberman family, has invested in an $80 million housing estate in the city’s south-east that will emit no carbon and be powered only by electricity.
The greenfield project to be delivered on a 9.2ha site next door to the Ranfurlie Golf Course in Cranbourne West, is the first joint venture between Monark and Resolution Property Group headed by Jeremy De Zylva and Frazer East.
Mr De Zylva said Resolution had a long-standing relationship with Monark and the Liberman family and that there were “other acquisitions in train”.
“This the first of a number of sites [we will develop jointly],” he told The Australian Financial Review.
Planning approval secured last month from the City of Casey will allow for the development of 181 homes and 2 ha of wetlands on the 950 Western Port Highway site, which lies about 40 km south-east from the Melbourne CBD.
Monark and Resolution acquired the site for almost $20 million from the not-for-profit Natural Resources Conservation League of Victoria (the successor to the Save the Forests Campaign) in a deal brokered by Andrew Egan and Frank Nagle of B&S Land.
In selling the site which forms part of a larger 31 ha landholding, the NRCLV said it was seeking a buyer committed to “maximising sustainability outcomes”.
Mr De Zylva said Resolution intended to partner with five to eight select project builders to ensure homes on the estate achieve a minimum 7-Star (out of 10) rating under the National Home Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS).
These homes will also be carbon zero (meaning they emit no net carbon dioxide once completed) and use only electric power as part of plans to achieve “high sustainability benchmarks”.
While a greenfield land parcel, Monark CEO Michael Kark, said the Cranbourne West site was “like an infill site” given the surrounding existing amenity.
“We are confident that this project, in one of Melbourne’s most in-demand greenfield markets, will perform well due to ongoing population growth in Melbourne’s south-east, limited supply of housing and the already established amenity,” he said.
Mr De Zylva acknowledged the Melbourne land market, which boomed during the pandemic due to government stimulus and record low interest rates, was “at a different stage of the cycle”, but said there was still “underlying demand for quality projects”.
“Melbourne is the engine room of the national land market, and we are confident about its prospects going forward,” he said.
He said Resolution’s strategy was acquire sites that were as infill as possible in established growth corridor areas, particularly in the south-east.
“We try to identify the more mature areas where there is already schools and public transport, as opposed to buying sites on the frontier,” Mr De Zylva said.
“We stay away from 1000-lot projects, which don’t suit our business model. We’re focused on sites in the 200- to 500-lot capacity range.”
The south-east growth corridor is Melbourne’s most expensive land market, with a median lot price of $472,000, according to greenfield sales agency Core Projects.
The Cranbourne West estate is expected to launch in the third quarter of the year. Construction will kick off in early 2023.