'We offered triple': 15 homes sold to developer for $37 million

More than a dozen Kogarah home owners have cashed in on their prime rezoned real estate by selling to a developer in a $37-million deal.

Fifteen homes along Regent Street were snapped up by developer Level 33, which plans to build 300 apartments in their place.

Joining forces paid off for the residents, with the developer paying well above the suburb's median house price of $1,395,000 for each home. The top price paid was $3.65 million for the last home acquired over the two years of negotiations.

Resident Anna Campbell, who sold her semi-detached home of more than a decade, said the group was delighted with the result.

While draft rezoning plans for the area had already sparked discussion about group sell-offs on the street, Anna said it wasn't until she had a knock on the door from Level 33 that she seriously considered it.

"It was the first fair and reasonable offer," she said. "We had a good group of neighbours who had researched the current rate and, luckily, no one got too greedy."

She said while one hesitant neighbour took a bit of persuading, that neighbour eventually agreed because of the prices offered for the homes.

"We could still be living there if someone right in the middle of us had objected."

They're not the only home owners in the area who have banded together to sell since parts of Kogarah were controversially rezoned to allow for taller buildings and higher floor-space ratios.

In recent months a group of six owners close to the Kogarah town centre looked to sell up for about $20 million to make way for 120 to 130 apartments.

Another group of 11 property owners also discussed a $25-million deal that could see about 130 units built on the Princes Highway at Kogarah Bay.

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Anna said while some residents in the area - particularly elderly ones - were against development, it was hard for home owners to pass up such an opportunity to increase their financial security.

Residents had also been concerned that if they declined the offer, the developer would just look to another part of the street.

While sales of consolidated sites offered big wins for some residents, it had a negative impact on those left behind, Georges River Council deputy mayor Kathryn Landsberry said.

"I get that you've got to look after your own interests," she said. "But the people that are not part of the consolidation are the real losers, they suffer the negative impacts."

Cr Landsberry said she wasn't against urban renewal, but was highly concerned about scale of development in the area.

"The existing infrastructure cannot support it and it's only going to get worse," she said.

Among those who resisted the offers of developers is grandfather Barry Dickson, whose home is across the road from the new Level 33 site, on the corner of the Princes Highway.

The 107-year-old property is now towered over by a 10-storey apartment block, just 60 centimetres of land away. While he wasn't against high-rise development, he was against developers buying up existing homes to make more high-density sites.

87-year-old Barry Dickson refused to sell his house in Kogorah to developers. who eventually built around him.

Barry Dickson, at his Kogarah home in 2016, refused to sell his house to developers. They eventually built around him.Photo: Wolter Peeters

While Anna was sad that the period home she had spent time and money renovating would be knocked down, she welcomed change and was enjoying the new apartment she moved into three weeks ago.

"You've got to embrace the new and move forward."

Eddy Haddad, of Level 33, said the property developer and construction business had approached home owners individually to secure the houses from 71-97 Regent Street.

"We offered double, triple in some cases, of the market value of a home," he said. "We purchased on a square metre rate, so went by block size so it didn't matter about the home's condition."

He said the locality was perfect for the proposed project, which would be made up of four separate apartment blocks and included affordable apartments for local first home buyers.

"It's literally only a one-minute walk to Kogarah train station, the St George Hospital is 100 metres away, and other amenities in the suburb's centre are at its doorstep."

Sales for the development are expected to launch in early 2018 and construction of the apartment block is expected to begin in mid to late 2018, subject to council approval.

The story 'We offered triple': 15 homes sold to developer for $37 million first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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