Stockland's (ASX: SGP) plans to rapidly scale its land lease community (LLC) developments have been super-charged today with the acquisition of five projects in Queensland from the Puljich family's Living Gems Group for $210 million.
The developer has entered binding agreements to acquire four future communities for development - all with development approvals - in Beerwah, Burpengary East, Logan Village and Eagleby Heights, as well as one existing community at Glenvale, currently known as Living Gems Toowoomba.
The latter also has around 200 home sites with further development opportunity.
Stockland expects all five communities will be in development within 12 months, taking the group's LLC development pipeline to 8,178 home sites - a 13.5 per cent lift on figures announced at the end of April. The group also has 2,352 established within the LLC over-50s lifestyle platform Stockland Halcyon.
Three months ago, the developer provided an update that five of its six LLCs under development at the time were in Queensland - a state where Stockland also had seven projects in the planning stage, compared to five each in Victoria and Western Australia, and three in New South Wales.
Stockland Communities CEO Andrew Whitson says the latest acquisition adds significant scale to the company's existing land lease development platform in South East Queensland (SEQ), the "deepest land lease development market in the country".
"The acquisition of these five communities aligns with our strategic land lease growth plans, builds on our competitive strengths in masterplanned communities to generate quality recurring income, and leverages Stockland Halcyon’s proven track record of delivery in SEQ," Whitson says.
Living Gems chief executive officer Adrian Puljich says the strategic decision to divest the Living Gems Toowoomba community and greenfield sites to Stockland would allow both companies to continue flourishing in the growing over-50s sector.
"We are confident Living Gems Toowoomba is in safe hands with Stockland, whose experience, strong cultural fit and proven track-record integrating and expanding Stockland Halcyon will ensure a seamless transition," Puljich says.
"We look forward to maintaining our strong relationship with homeowners in our eight retained Living Gems resorts, while continuing to innovate and bring new communities to the market, including across the four greenfield sites that remain under our ownership."
Stockland will fund the acquisition from existing financing facilities. The transaction is anticipated to complete in early August 2023.
Over-50s communities are just one point of focus within a flurry of activity in Queensland for Stockland recently. The Beerwah site being purchased now is just a 20-minute drive to the other side of the Bruce Highway from the company's controversial Aura South development, which has been opposed by the local council but is before the Commonwealth for an independent environmental assessment.
Last week Stockland also started construction on its Yatala Distribution Centre South, located between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, with 20,000sqm of warehousing space to help service the needs of a rapidly-growing population in the region.
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