13/10/2014 - 14:51

Buyer closes in on Port Geographe

13/10/2014 - 14:51

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A buyer is understood to be circling the Port Geographe development near Busselton, potentially ending years of uncertainty for the blighted marina project.

Buyer closes in on Port Geographe
How Port Geographe looked before groyne reconfiguration.

A buyer is understood to be circling the Port Geographe development near Busselton, potentially ending years of uncertainty for the blighted marina project.

Commercial agent Savills ran the expressions of interest campaign for the seaside development plot earlier this year on behalf of administrator PPB Advisory.

Neither Savills nor PPB would comment on the sale of the 59-hectare lot, but it is understood negotiations are in their final stages.

The sale campaign is understood to have attracted significant interest from developers and builders in Western Australia keen to capitalise on the steady recovery in lot sale prices within the precinct.

Lot sale prices are still down on the highs of 2006 but local real estate agents report they are edging closer to those levels and interest in the development is good.

The undeveloped portion of the development could support up to 486 canal side, lakeside and traditional ‘dry’ lots, however there is opposition within the local community to the construction of any further canals within the project.

Port Geographe after development.

And there is the potential for a new owner to negotiate a fresh blueprint for the land with the Department of Transport and the City of Busselton.

Port Geographe has been beset with difficulties since the mid 1990s, when the construction of groynes precipitated the noxious build-up of seagrass.

The development’s most recent proponents, including developer Luke Saraceni, Macquarie Bank and Axiom Properties, put their investment vehicles into administration in 2011, leaving the future of the site under a cloud.

Project financier Westpac was believed to be owed close to $100 million but it is not clear whether the sale price under negotiation will cover this amount.

Work has recently finished on the $28 million reconfiguration of the groynes to avoid the pungent collection of weed along the coast, while the landscaping and sand replenishment programs are under way.

It’s hoped this work will put an end to the weed issue, which has blighted this development and nearby Wonnerup for close to two decades.

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