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From fairways into laneways: developers gobbling up Melbourne’s golf courses

The Kingston Links course has been bought by Queensland property investor Neville Pask for more than $60 million. Photo: Supplied

More than 290 hectares of open space in metropolitan Melbourne is set to be replaced with houses, offices and shops, as developers make good on multi-billion dollar plans to replace golf courses they have snapped up in recent years.

In the most recent deal, Queensland property investor Neville Pask has announced plans to replace part of Rowville’s 67-hectare Kingston Links course with an 800-lot housing estate.

The wealthy businessman is quietly acquiring the property following an off-market deal reportedly worth more than $60 million.

From fairways into laneways: developers gobbling up Melbourne’s golf courses

Rich-lister Neville Pask. Photo: Supplied

It follows the $125 million purchase in 2014 of Dingley’s 53.4-hectare Kingswood Golf Club by ISPT and the speculated $40 million spend by ex-Carlton footballer Fraser Brown, for the 48-hectare Amstel Golf Club in Cranbourne.

One of the biggest golf course sales occurred in 2011 when Mirvac agreed to pay $100 million for Doncaster’s 47-hectare Eastern Golf Club which is now being marketed as the Tullamore housing estate.

Golf courses are popular with developers as they are often located in established residential areas with infrastructure. Other courses on the radar for developers are in Croydon and Glen Waverley.

In Melbourne’s south east Intrapac, backed by wealthy local families the Scanlons and Smorgons, are negotiating to buy the 76-hectare Keysborough Golf Club, if it can be rezoned for housing.

This mirrors the action of Frasers Property Group (formerly known as Australand) which years ago built a new Sunshine Golf Course on industrial zoned land near the former club, which has since been replaced with a townhouse-based village.

Not all recently vacated golf courses have wound up in the hands of developers, though.

In 2014 Crown Resorts paid billionaire Lloyd William $67.6 million for the prestigious Capitol Golf Club, which the casino business offers for its guests to use.

In Elsternwick a council-controlled course has been mooted to make way for wetlands and a wildlife habitat.