• July 13, 2017

Kokoda to snap up Rowsthorn’s Malvern holding for $40m

Kokoda to snap up Rowsthorn’s Malvern holding for $40m

Melbourne developer Kokoda Property is poised to acquire a 4720 square metre super site in Malvern – put together by prominent businessman Mark Rowsthorn – for more than $40 million.

The island site on the corner of Glenferrie and Dandenong roads opposite Malvern station in the city’s inner east includes the historic Angel Tavern and six adjoining retail and office properties which the former Asciano and McAleese boss acquired over the past 10 years.

Given its position and locality in the upmarket suburb, the site has the potential to be home to a $600 million mixed-use development and transportation hub.

“Kokoda Property is excited to be in exclusive due diligence for what is one of Malvern’s most high-profile sites,” said Kokoda Property director Sam Tucker.

Mr Tucker said if the deal proceeded it would be Kokoda Property’s largest acquisition to date.

“Should the transaction move ahead, we will look to implement a masterplanned, staged development with hospitality, retail and residential components to activate this extensive site,” he said.

“We are currently in a competitive tender process with six of Australia’s most prolific architecture firms, giving strong consideration to the best outcomes from both a design and amenity perspective.”
Established track record

Mr Rowsthorn, who is chief executive of Rivet – the renamed McAleese after it emerged from administration in January – told The Australian Financial Review in March the time had come for him to leave development of the site to the “big guys”.

“It needs a Mirvac or a Lendlease or a big Asian conglomerate to take advantage of that, I don’t have the capital or the time to devote to it.”

While best known for his involvement in the transport sector, Mr Rowsthorn has also done well out of property investment in recent years.

Three years ago, he sold one of Melbourne’s best-known CBD sites, the old Savoy Tavern in Bourke Street, to Singapore developer Fragrance for $44.5 million having paid $9.9 million for the then derelict site in 2005.

The sales campaign for the Malvern site is being handled by Colliers International’s Matt Stagg and Jeremy Gruzewski in conjunction with Gross Waddell’s Jonathan McCormack and Andrew Waddell.

“In addition to pricing and settlement terms, Kokoda Property was selected as the preferred bidder because of their established 20-year track record and expertise delivering high-quality residential product throughout Melbourne’s most exclusive suburbs,” Mr Stagg said.

Kokoda was founded 20 years ago by former Jeans West director Mark Stevens and has completed a dozen projects in Melbourne. The developer recently expanded into Brisbane where it now has three projects.

Last month it bought a riverfront site in St Lucia, Brisbane, for $9.5 million with plans for a $75 million apartment building.

Mr Stagg said the campaign generated more than 130 buyer inquires and 10 offers from a variety of major local and international developers.

This article originally appeared in the Australian Financial Review July 12 2017 – http://www.afr.com/real-estate/residential/vic/kokoda-to-snap-up-mark-rowsthorns-malvern-holding-for-40m-20170627-gwztts