Villawood Properties executive director Rory Costelloe, Bitu-Mill chief executive officer Stephen Hill, City of Greater Geelong Councillor Anthony Aitken, land owners Bill and Beryl Wilks and Bitu-Mill construction manager Jarrod Shearson at the sod turning at Coridale. Photo: MIKE DUGDALE

Sod turned at Coridale as construction draws closer

April 27, 2020 BY

VILLAWOOD Properties’ new Coridale project is set to host the first homes in the new Lara west growth precinct.

Construction has begun at the O’Halloran’s Road site, with the first of the 1,100-lot estate’s lots set to title and building to start in early 2021.

Villawood has sold more than 100 Coridale lots to date – 75 per cent of them to locals from Lara and neighbouring suburbs.

Villawood executive director Rory Costelloe said Coridale was an exciting project with a resort-style residents’ club, top-line parks, playgrounds, open space and amenities that raised the benchmark for residential housing.

Coridale will feature neighbourhood shops and retail centre. Lots are just walking distance to schools and sporting fields. Coridale will also include an extensive display village with all of Victoria’s leading builders – including a Henley World of Homes centre.

With construction a designated essential industry during the coronavirus pandemic, Coridale’s economic contribution was critical, Mr Costelloe said.

“Geelong’s job market needs as much help as we can offer right now.”

“Villawood was the first developer with a permit at Lara West and we will be the first to start building.

“As a key player in the Geelong/Surf Coast region’s construction sector, we’re one of the few players holding its own in these trying times.

“We’ve undertaken two new contracts – civil works by Bitu-mill at Coridale and a Drewan Park rebuild by BC Garden Construction at Wandana – which represent in the order of 150 new jobs.”

Figures compiled by Villawood show that its three major Geelong region projects – at Coridale, Armstrong Mount Duneed and Wandana – support 1,900 jobs and contribute an estimated $300 million locally a year. More than 1,500 of these people live in the local area.

City of Greater Geelong councillor Anthony Aitken inspected the Coridale site as works started.

“I am personally pleased as one of the local councillors to be associated with the official turning of the sod on this project,” he said.

“COVID-19 is creating uncertain times but Villawood Properties is demonstrating that there is continuing strong interest for residential allotments across the Geelong region and in particular in Lara.

“Lara is our closest commuter city in Geelong to Melbourne, and Lara West and Coridale are perfectly located to take advantage of that residential need in the property market in Victoria.

“We love Lara, and the Coridale development will enable thousands more residents to also love Lara in the future.”

Bitu-Mill chief executive officer Stephen Hill said the civil contractor enjoyed a lengthy association with Geelong and was excited to be part of the new Coridale community.

“We’ve been involved with Geelong for quite a while with other parts of our business,” he said.

“This new project will be generating around 120 jobs and injecting some real positivity in the local economy at a time when it’s really needed.”

Villawood is also pushing ahead with major projects in Melbourne.

The developer launched a new 2,500-lot project, Redstone – the first of three projects across 5,300 lots at Sunbury – last weekend, drawing strong interest.

Mr Costelloe said Villawood’s ambitions were based on the strength of its potential purchaser database, on a growing number of professional and white-collar workers drawn to the greenfields, and on shifting growth patterns across metropolitan Melbourne.

Villawood also offers $20,000 price discounts, with 20 per cent of land set aside, to essential care workers ranging from nurses and paramedics to police, teachers, firefighters and personal carers.