In recent weeks numerous vacant central Dandenong development lots have been placarded with 'Land for sale" signage, representing a sizeable chunk of real estate within the precinct controlled by Places Victoria. According to the Victorian Government’s property development agency who controls Dandenong's CBD under the Revitalising Central Dandenong initiative, "Further sites will be brought to the market in line with demand."
Four to five sites have been spotted with signage, predominantly on and around Walker Street which represents the epicentre of recent and current construction activity in the precinct.
State held development sites aren't the only to be offered at the moment with two enduring privately held blocks also set for sale. Both 285 Thomas Street and 27 Scott Street have been on the radar for some time with the latter maintaining a sales campaign for over two years, but to no avail.
Pointing to the difficulties in establishing a viable high-density residential market in Dandenong, 285 Thomas Street began as the design highlighted below only to morph into an office project once residential demand was deemed to be inadequate. 27 Scott Street was initially a taller building and had Platinum Construction appointed as builder, but now also finds itself for sale as a vacant development site.
It's not all a state of flux in Dandenong with three projects maintaining a degree of forward momentum in the area. The Australian Taxation Office's new Dandenong outlet at 11-13 Robinson Street continues to make rapid progress with the 13,803 square metre facility expected to be tenant ready by September 2015.
In addition Burbank's Mosaic apartment project is nearing completion while Pellicano have initiated construction works at Quest Dandenong, a 55 bed serviced apartment building situated on the corner of Mason and Walker.
Observing Revitalising Central Dandenong since inception, it's fair to say demand for the precinct has been moderate; sufficient, almost measured but by no means overwhelming. Project delivery has been patchy with a fair list of projects that have never seen the light of day, so it's somewhat baffling that Places Victoria has released multiple sites for development simultaneously.
While demand for inner-city sites is rampant, those same factors underpinning Melbourne do not apply to Dandenong. It's difficult to see the rationale behind offering these sites for sale concurrently when market demand doesn't look to match.
Whether it be an opportunistic and well timed move by Places Victoria or essentially a fire sale of underperforming assets, the results will make for interesting reading.