As General Motors Holden continues its transformation into an import-only business, the company has today listed a five-title 37.7-hectare parcel of land for expressions of interest, located at its 241 Salmon Street, Port Melbourne site.
The listing of the site signals the end of an era for local manufacturing, with the production of a locally-manufactured Commodore set to end production in 2017.
The timing of the sale couldn’t be any better for employers, with a recent green light for a newly-created employment zone in the area that removes height restrictions. The changes expand the planning minister’s ability to approve buildings that were recently height restricted in the area.
Ironically, the government expects the newly zoned area to be home to 40,000 jobs and 80,000 residents by 2050, filling part of the void left by Holden‘s end of local production.
Sale of the site is open to expressions of interest, which close at 3pm on October 1, 2015. While the expected value of the site is unknown, there is huge potential to develop the site and expand the area, which currently represents 30 per cent of the industrial land in Port Melbourne.
General Motors Holden has occupied the site since 1936, when it opened a new assembly plant and headquarters in Port Melbourne. Part of the sale agreement is expected to allow Holden to leaseback parts of the property in the future to cater for its import-only business.
The news also follows confirmation in August that Holden will maintain a larger-than-planned engineering department in Australia, allowing the carmaker to play a greater role in global General Motors design and development projects.
According to Kate Lonsdale, Holden’s senior manager of external communications, no decisions have been made yet regarding the use of the site.
“As part of an ongoing review of our national sites and operations, Holden has initiated an Expression of Interest program for certain unused plots of land on the Fishermans Bend site.”
“No decisions have yet been taken and we are evaluating all available options. This Expression of Interest program will have no impact to Holden’s ongoing manufacturing operations or corporate headquarters on the site,” Lonsdale said.