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Bunnings to anchor MAB Corp’s Element Park business park

Wesfarmers-owned Bunnings will open a new large-format store in Clyde North in Melbourne’s south-east in 2019 after snapping up a 3.77-hectare site within developer MAB Corporation’s $150 million Element Park business and retail park.

The new 16,600-square-metre DIY warehouse will anchor stage one of MAB Corp’s 38-hectare project, which is set to include showrooms, a petrol station, a childcare centre, food and beverage outlets and leisure facilities in addition to 65 industrial lots ranging in size from 1000 to 3000 square metres each.

MAB Corp is run by Financial Review rich listers Andrew and Michael Buxton. The brothers control one of Victoria’s biggest business park portfolios with 19 business parks covering 660 hectares worth $1.8 billion including University Hill and Merrifield in Melbourne’s north.

They snapped up the 38-hectare site on the corner of Berwick-Cranbourne and Thompsons roads in December last year.

Deal discussion

Ian Parry, development manager at MAB Corp, said the previous owners had held preliminary discussions with Bunnings – the deal got over the line when Bunnings secured a permit for the new warehouse.

The nearest existing Bunnings is four kilometres away, a store about half the size of the proposed new warehouse.

Mr Parry told The Australian Financial Review it would be the first Bunnings to open in a MAB Corp business park and would act as a catalyst for the next phase of the development of the rapidly growing Clyde North area.

“We’ve sold 18 lots at quite impressive retail sales rates of more than $300 a square metre,” he said.

Infrastructure works at Element Park are set to commence in early 2018 and cease in early 2019, prior to the completion of the Bunnings Warehouse.

WORDS: Larry Schlesinger

Originally published in The Australian Financial Review on 19 December 2017