A long-term lease over one of Australia’s most picturesque golf courses is offering an opportunity get the jump on future growth through Melbourne’s booming northern corridor and tourist visitor numbers, and create a new lifestyle destination for the region.
Fitzroys’ Rick Berry and Tom Fisher are marketing the leasehold of the 18-hole par 72 Growling Frog public access golf course in Yan Yean on behalf of the City of Whittlesea, via Expressions of Interest with a lease of up to 30 years on offer.
The Graham Marsh-designed Growling Frog is set on a 129-hectare site of picturesque, gently undulating land, nestled among 300-year old River Red Gums and offers panoramic views, including to the Great Dividing Range.
It opened in 2004 as the first course in Australia to be built with 3D and GPS tracking technologies. Growling Frog boasts first-class facilities, including a restaurant and café, pro-golf shop, dedicated driving range, putting green, chipping green and practice bunkers.
Development and complementary income opportunities exist with current and future potential to drive additional golfing income.
Council is looking for new ideas and innovative ways to evolve Growling Frog. Berry said the Council is seeking and encouraging new ideas and innovative ways to evolve Growling Frog, with a 2ha parcel within the Course presenting a transformative opportunity to establish Growling Frog as a lifestyle and tourism destination, and hospitality, entertainment and events hub.
“Opportunities to develop new facilities and expand the functions and events area can reshape Growling Frog as a local hospitality icon, complemented by the picturesque surrounds, as well as enhance the scope to host social and cultural events, as well as corporate,” he said.
“There is also the capacity to build accommodation on the site that could further enhance its appeal and reputation as a lifestyle and corporate destination for Victorians, interstate and international visitor alike.”
Available development options under the site’s guidelines allow for a restaurant of up to 150 patrons, as well a hotel with as many as 80 bedrooms.
“The growing popularity of contemporary golf entertainment and hospitality experiences provide an excellent framework for any future development on the site,” Berry said.
Further gains can be made through expansion of the golf offering itself, and realising the potential for increased golf rounds, golf services and golf retail revenue.
The City of Whittlesea is expected to welcome some 141,400 people in the 20 years to 2031, reflecting a population surge of almost 92% in that period.
Major parcels of land through the northern corridor and along Donnybrook Road, right near Growling Frog, continue to be picked up by key developers for residential projects, including Boral and Mirvac’s purchase of a 278ha next to Mirvac’s 187-hectare Olivine estate.
Chinese developer Blueways Holdings and local group Wolfdene acquired a 208ha parcel with potential for up to 2,000 homes and an end value of $800 million, which followed Satterley Group’s $34 million purchase of a 68ha parcel at 1030 Donnybrook Road; and Dennis Family Corporation recently launched its 5,000-lot Peppercorn Hill community.