Castle Hill ‘megalot’ to reap $100 million

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The site is located at 3-7 Ashford Avenue, 17-39 Middleton Avenue and 12-28 Partridge Avenue, Castle Hill, and is being sold as one single lot. Photo: Google EarthTwenty five Castle Hill neighbours arebandingtogether to sell their properties with acombined estimatedvalue of $100 million in a “megalot” sale that’s sending chills through the real estate sector.

Taking the opposite approach of movie favouriteThe Castle’s Darryl Kerrigan, who rallied his neighbours to stave off developers,the residents have taken control of the sale process and are selling all their properties in a single transaction.

The move has been prompted by the rezoning of the area under the NSW government’s Urban Activation Precinct planand the development of the new Metro rail station opposite the Castle Hill showgrounds.

The Castle Hilldeal will reap the individualowners as much as $4 million, substantiallymorethan the average Hills district price of around $1 million.

The residents’ appointed spokesman Nick Maude said the deal was struck when the neighbours were told of the rezoning about a year ago.

Mr Maude said it was an “emotional time” but that his neighbours were resolved to approach acommercial agent to sell the 25 sites in one line.

“We all started talking amongst ourselves and quickly realised we needed help,” Mr Maude said.

Mr Maude said that wheneveryone was agreed, the groupapproached JLLand its head of metropolitan sales and investments forNSW, Sam Brewer and director, David Mathews, for help and guidance.

The increasingly common tactic of Sydney neighbours banding together to sell directly to developers and commercial agentsis starting to hurt the local real estate agentswho would have traditionally been enlisted to market and sell the properties individually.

In Castle Hill,20 neighbours in an area adjacent to Mr Maude’s group combined their lots in a single sale in July last year.

High profile agent John McGrath’s recent financial troubles have been in part blamed on a big drop off in listings in areas like Castle Hill. Mr McGrath blamed his company’s recent share price slump on the way the decline in listings in areas likeCastleHill, Epping and Kellyville had affected his Smollen Group agents.

The site being sold by Mr Maude and his neighboursis located at 3-7 Ashford Avenue, 17-39 Middleton Avenue and 12-28 Partridge Avenue and haspotential for high densityresidential development, allowed by the new Hills district planning rules.

The whole site measures about24,093 square metres with a potential gross floor area of 55,415 square metres.

“This site offers threestrong factors setting it up for success,” JLL’s Mr Brewer said. These includedits proximity to theSydney Metro Northweststation that is planned to open in the first half of 2019. “The fact that itis themetro rail is key as this will offer trains approximately every four minutes during peak times, greatly improving connectivity,” Mr Brewer said.

“It hasproximity to retail and commercial precincts with Castle Towers and the Norwest Business Park close by. We expect to see strong interest from local and offshore developers who are actively seeking opportunities of this scale in the market.”

Mr Maude said the age of vendors ranges from people with small childrento retirees in their 70s.

“Some people have invested in renovations and others have been here for 35 years, so it hasn’t been an easy process,” he said.

“But at the end of the journey, we feel we have more power as a collective than trying to stay put and being built out by the proposed high density developments.”

Mr Maude said he hada child at high school and was keen to stay in the area, but said that others were contemplating a total change of lifestyle and location.

“The romance of staying, such as Darryl Kerriganin the movie the Castle, is a lot different to reality,” he said.

“We knew we had to leave, but we have the power to at least generate good returns through combining the properties.”

“This is one the last remaining sites of this size in Castle Hill that is in such close proximity to the plannedSydney Metro Northwesttrain station at Showground Road. Castle Hill is experiencing growth with increased demand from families and young professionals. Infrastructure developments will further strengthen Castle Hill’s position as a destination for residents in the future,” JLL’s DavidMatthews said.

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