Geocon Locks In Funding for Final Stage of $1bn Precinct


Busy property sector dealmaker MaxCap will back the third and final stage of Geocon’s Republic precinct in Canberra.

The residential precinct, a 1.6ha site on the corner of Cameron Avenue, Eastern Valley Way and Emu Bank in Belconnen, is Australia’s largest residential development under construction with 1300 apartments.

The non-bank lender will participate behind an undisclosed global investment bank to deliver funding to Geocon, currently the fourth largest builder developer in Australia.

The funds will support the construction of the precinct’s third stage, dubbed Nightfall, which will have an end value of $156 million.

The development will feature 22 levels with 334 residential apartments as well as 17 commercial and retail units on the ground and lower ground floors, and two levels of basement car parking which will join the basement already built during the earlier stages.

The developer has previously completed the precinct’s first stage, Republic and Dusk, last year and is on track to completed it second stage, High Society, by mid 2021.

This deal marks the fourth project MaxCap has funded for Geocon, having reached financial close of Aspen and Establishment projects in late 2020 and City 7 in early 2020.

Geocon Nightfall
▲ Nightfall is the third and final stage of Republic by Geocon. Image: Fender Katsalidis

Geocon has a significant presence in the ACT, having completed a number of residential and commercial projects in the territory.

In addition to Republic Stages 1 and 2, the developer completed another project in Belconnen in 2017, known as Infinity, comprising 426 apartments.

According to Corelogic, Canberra’s apartment market remains one of the strongest performers nationally, with unit prices up 5.2 per cent in the 12 months to February 2021.

Vacancy rates are also at two-year lows—currently less than 1 per cent—with implied gross yields on apartments at 5.5 per cent, according to SQM Research.

“We have confidence in the Belconnen, ACT location and positive outcomes for the Nightfall project by Geocon,” MaxCap ACT state director David Oudshoorn said.

“Belconnen is recognised as an established locality in Canberra with key amenities available [including] recreation, employment centres, education, and public facilities.”

Geocon currently has a pipeline of more than 2000 apartments to be released to the market in the next two years.

The developer also has plans for another 400 units at a development site in Civic, at 70 Allara Street, after purchasing the 7700sq m site for $24 million.

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