Pelligra plans $500m development for Ford sites

Pelligra plans $500m development for Ford sites

24 May 2019

Motoring giant Ford has sold its former plants at Broadmeadows, in Melbourne’s north, and two separate properties at Geelong in a multi-million dollar deal that bookends a historic era of car manufacturing in Australia, the AFR reports.

Totalling more than 265,000 square metres, the properties will be recast as high-end manufacturing and technology estates with developer Pelligra Group committing to a $500 million initial investment for redevelopment.

Ford last year began the process of divesting its industrial real estate, sprawling across 100 hectares, two years after the last Falcon rolled off the assembly line.

The sites were put up for sale last year with an estimated value of about $75 million. The final price paid by Pelligra is understood to far exceed that figure, although neither party would disclose the amount citing confidentiality, says The Age.

The new business parks will be known as Fortek Geelong and Assembly Broadmeadows,

Pelligra will retrofit the existing infrastructure to accommodate manufacturing and innovative technology businesses, with the first new tenants expected next year.

Under Pelligra’s ambitious vision, as many as 5,000 jobs could be established on the sites over the next decade.

“Through our investment in the area, we intend to help rejuvenate and grow the local community, and create industry leading hubs with world-class innovation, engineering, and manufacturing on-site,” Pelligra Group chairman, Ross Pelligra, said.

Under the deal, Ford will retain its research, design and engineering facilities in Geelong and Broadmeadows, along with the You Yangs Proving Ground at Lara, as its invests more than $500 million in 2019 into research and development in Australia.

“We are pleased that Pelligra Group will build on Ford’s ongoing engineering and design presence by adding new opportunities for innovation, ideas and business in Geelong and Broadmeadows,” chief executive for Ford Australia and New Zealand Kay Hart said.

Ford announced in 2013 it would end local manufacturing, a move that saw it shed 1300 jobs.

Along with the closure of rival manufacturers, the move prompted the cascading shut down of multiple other local car part manufacturers and suppliers.

The Victorian government snapped up Holden’s $130 million Fishermans Bend site in Melbourne while Pelligra was the buyer of the former Holden car assembly factory site in northern Adelaide two years ago.