19/09/2012 - 10:36

Fund targets Bullsbrook land

19/09/2012 - 10:36

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A HUB to service the oil and gas industry may result from the development of 430 hectares of industrial land in South Bullsbrook after the state government announced a planning amendment which includes the site.

Private equity fund Sirona Capital dominates the site, owning 270ha of rural land in the planned South Bullsbrook industrial area. 

It hopes to release the first stage of its North Link development in the second half of next year, pending structural planning approval.

Sirona said it was exploring the idea of developing its land into an oil and gas industry services hub due to the property’s proximity to key rail and road transport infrastructure, which provides the potential for an inter-modal terminal.

The remaining 160ha is owned by local landowners. 

Last week, minister for planning John Day announced a Metropolitan Region Scheme Amendment allowing for the development of primarily general and light industrial land.

“The strategy also identifies the potential for an inter-modal terminal either to the west or south of the subject land,” Mr Day stated.

The amended area is close to the future development of Perth-to-Darwin highway and the Perth-to-Geraldton railway line and the existing Stock Road.

Sirona Capital managing director Matthew McNeilly believes the development of the South Bullsbrook area would help alleviate pressure on the market, with WA’s industrial land market tipped to take 10 years before supply meets demand.

“The government should be given a lot of credit for making this happen … big industrial areas now have logistical constraints in terms of what can go in and out of there,” he said.

Mr McNeilly said the amendment was a major step towards the rezoning of the land but it still had to go through a structure planning process, which included the City of Swan.

He anticipated the structure planning process would be completed in the middle of next year and was confident Sirona would have land for sale in the second half of next year.

“Our land is well set up for development; we’re good to go … I don’t see any reason why Bullsbrook can’t be the next Kewdale or Welshpool,” Mr McNeilly said. 

He said Sirona’s land tapped into existing infrastructure due to its location on the intersection of Stock Road and the Great Northern Highway, which would help speed up development. 

Sirona planned to release its landholding in stages from the eastern side to the west of its landholding.

“The idea is to do a development that starts at the Great Northern Highway end and finishes up at the western end of the development,” Mr McNeilly said of the project, which could take up to 20 years.

As an advisory and investment outfit, Sirona has announced several transactions in recent years predominantly in the mining and property sectors.

Late last year, it forged a partnership with embattled property developer Luke Saraceni after buying two of his properties for its real estate investment business, including the South Bullsbrook land.

Sirona also bought the Myer building in Fremantle from Saracen Properties at the same time.

At the time, Saracen was expected to play a role in both of these projects, acting as development manager for the Bullsbrook industrial subdivision and development partner for the Fremantle project.

Last week, Myer decided to quit the Fremantle lease, prompting Sirona to announce it would continue with plans to redevelop the Kings Square site.

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