Coincidentally, Pelligra Group also bought the redundant Holden factory in Adelaide, in 2017.
The three Ford manufacturing sites hit the market last September with price expectations totalling $75 million.
Targeted to commercial developers, the factories have been largely vacant since the last Australian Ford was produced: a blue XR6, on October 7, 2016.
The offerings cover a combined area of 100 hectares and include
more than 265,000 square metres of factory floor.
Pelligra Group intends to retrofit existing infrastructure
on the sites to accommodate technology and manufacturing parks.
It will rebrand the former factories: the Geelong holding
will called FORTEK while the Broadmeadows property will become known as ASSEMBLY.
As part of the deal with Pelligra Group, Ford will retain its research, design, and engineering facilities footprint at both Geelong and Broadmeadows properties.
Pelligra has committed to an initial $500 million for stage
one of this urban renewal project, Pelligra Group chairman Ross Pelligra said.
“Pelligra has a strong track record of projects that
deliver jobs and rejuvenate communities,” Mr Pelligra said. “Our intention with
FORTEK Geelong and ASSEMBLY Broadmeadows is the same; we are committed to ultimately
delivering 4000 to 5000 jobs in the next five to 10 years, with the first manufacturing
tenants anticipated to start work on site within a year”.
“FORTEK Geelong and ASSEMBLY Broadmeadows are significant
historical manufacturing sites. 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”.
The Geelong property was Ford’s first factory, opened in
Ford retains other property in Victoria including a proving ground in the You Yangs.
The car maker said that some 1600 of Ford’s 2000-plus
Australian workforce occupy space within the two factories Pelligra Group has
bought, and at You Yangs.
“Ford will invest more than $500 million in 2019 into
research and development in Australia, directly supporting its product development
operations in Geelong, Lara and Broadmeadows,” Ford Australia and New Zealand chief
executive officer Kay Hart said.
“Ford’s Geelong and Broadmeadows sites have played a central role in the history of Australia’s auto industry as centres of technical excellence, and have been part of the fabric of the local communities for generations”, Ms Hart said. “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”.
Based in East Keilor, Pelligra Group is a privately owned family company which in recent years has acquired some high-profile sites.
Amongst them is the former Huntsman Chemical Corporation site in Brooklyn, which it bought last September, and will soon make way for an industrial park.
With joint venture partner ResiCommercial, Pelligra Group last August paid more than $25 million for Richmond properties including the former SEN radio office. These assets, 471-479 Swan Street and 10 Belgravia Street, were offloaded by The Reject Shop co-founder Ron Hall.
Pelligra Group also owns 1500 Roxburgh, Empire Epping, John Darling Flourmill in Sunshine, the Sakata (Pepsico) factory in Laverton, an ex-Orica manufacturing site and the InterContintental Hotel Werribee.
In Brooklyn alone, it controls former Cleanaway landfills, the former Scotch Butter factory, and the Brooklyn Interchange.
Last month we reported Pelligra Group secured St John’s Ambulance as a tenant within the building that also acts as the developer’s headquarters, 16A Keilor Park Drive.
In Adelaide, it acquired the Holden Manufacturing Plant
in Elizabeth South two years ago. This property is now known as Lionsgate. It
also controls an office in the CBD’s Pirie Street.