Private developer Resimax Group has settled on the famed 828-hectare Eynesbury site in Melbourne’s outer west, in a move signalling market strength for land subdivision.
Commercial real estate investment manager MaxCap has teamed up with property lender Metrics Credit Partners with a $210 million facility for Resimax to acquire and develop the suburb.
The facility marks one of the larger non-bank senior debt deals of the past year.
While Resimax wouldn't comment on the site's latest transaction figure, the developer also secured finance from Japan’s Nomura, an existing lender on the project which is located roughly 40-kilometres west of Melbourne CBD.
Resimax managing director Aziz "Ozzie" Kheir, who is also a hotelier and racehorse owner, says the settlement follows an “exhausting 12 month process”.
Eynesbury, once a project in partnership with Hyde Property group, is now entirely owned by the Melbourne-based developer with ambitious plans the development's end value will be well north of the $2 billion mark.
The estate, which once formed part of the 5000-hectare property owned by the wealthy Baillieu family, has remained in uncertainty, stalled by site issues and legal woes.
Land developer Villa World had developed part of the Eynesbury project, in conjunction with a company controlled by the Baillieu family, before offloading its 50 per cent interest in the estate to Francis Kowng’s Hyde Property Group for $60 million in 2013.
The Eynesbury property was then the grounds of a bitter legal dispute, between Hyde and its former joint venture partner developer Richard Gu. That case was settled in Supreme Court in late 2018.
Kheir's Resimax entered the scene later that year when it announced a joint venture agreement with Hyde Property Group to develop a 218-hectare portion of the estate.
Now at the helm of the project, Kheir says the 828-hectare site currently represents one of Victoria's largest mixed use zoned projects.
Plans for the new suburb include a town centre, sporting fields, which are currently under construction, and schools, the first one of which is under construction.
When asked if he was deterred by the site's history, Kheir said, it was partly what attracted him to the deal.
“My initial response to the project was, ‘I'm staying away’! There’s no way i’d go near it,” Kheir told The Urban Developer.
“But like most things, the more complex the issue [or] transaction is, I think always, the more rewarding the end result can be.”
Current development plans allow for 4500 lots on the site, with the potential for up to 10,000 residential lots.
“The vision for the project is to deliver, what was meant to be delivered a long time ago,” Kheir said.
“It’s been stagnant for about seven years now, so we want to get on with it.”
The Eynesbury project currently has 259 residential lots under way, expected to be delivered in the next 12 months.