06/03/2007 - 22:00

Cedar Woods makes major Melbourne play

06/03/2007 - 22:00

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Cedar Woods Properties Ltd has made a fast start to the new year, posting a record half-year net profit of $13.8 million and gaining approval for a $1 billion redevelopment project at Laverton Airfield in Victoria last week.

Cedar Woods Properties Ltd has made a fast start to the new year, posting a record half-year net profit of $13.8 million and gaining approval for a $1 billion redevelopment project at Laverton Airfield in Victoria last week.

Entering its 20th year in property, the Perth-based development and investment group is gradually building up a diversified portfolio of residential commercial and retail projects across greater metropolitan Perth and Melbourne, while increasing its exposure towards built form products such as town houses and apartments.

The 275-hectare master planned ‘Williams Landing’ project on the former Laverton RAAF airfield near Melbourne will be the company’s biggest undertaking to date, being a major town centre of residential, retail, bulky goods, entertainment, residential and commercial uses.

Four residential estates of about 2,000 dwellings and more than 16ha of parks and sporting facilities will surround the new town centre and planned rail station and bus interchange, 18 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD.

Cedar Woods chief executive Paul Sadleir said Williams Landing was the largest infill project in Melbourne and would provide it with income for the next 15 years.

“These parcels are very hard to find and it’s taken a lot of work to get it on track. We’ll start development of the residential precincts first and build in towards the town centre,” Mr Sadleir told WA Business News.

Cedar Woods will also retain 55ha of the site for a nature reserve.

Mr Sadleir said the Melbourne market had slowed more than most, which meant Cedar Woods was turning its sights increasingly to opportunities in other growth markets such as Queensland.

WA is still a major focus for the company, he said, and continuing strong sales of residential lots in Mandurah, Baldivis and Wanneroo helped the company achieve the record half-year profit.

Sales of its Nautilus Apartments in Rockingham also underpinned the result, due to the majority of the 60 unit sales in the 62-unit project being settled prior to Christmas.

Cedar Woods will continue to be active this year in Mandurah, Halls Head, Rockingham and Forrestfield.

At ‘The Islands’ canal estate in Mandurah, the company has a 20-apartment project approved called the ‘Tradewinds’, which it will take to market in two months, and a further 18 apartments in Halls Head under construction called ‘The Waterline’.

The long awaited 15-apartment project ‘The Jetty’ at Palm Beach Rockingham will also go to market this year, as will terrace housing and apartments in its established Canning Vale estate ‘Cambridge Waters’.

In future, Mr Sadleir said he hoped the company would deliver a minimum 10 per cent profit growth year on year, and revealed that a third of its projects would likely be syndicated.

Cedar Woods is relatively new to the property funds management game, having launched its first wholesale syndicate, Cedar Woods Wellard Ltd, in July last year to purchase a 47ha parcel at Wellard for a 500-lot subdivision.

Cedar Woods and BankWest each hold a 25 per cent interest.

Mr Sadleir said another syndicate would be launched mid-year and he expected up to two projects would be added to the portfolio annually.

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