Bentleigh garden supplies land sells for $4 million, developer plans multi-level retail and apartment complex
Kevin Broadbent of Broadbent Garden Supplies, recently moved his 70-year-old, three gener

Kevin Broadbent of Broadbent Garden Supplies, recently moved his 70-year-old, three generation Bentleigh business, and the land has just sold for over $4 million. Picture: Derrick den Hollander

A Bentleigh garden supplies centre has sold for just over $4 million, cracking the $4000 per square metre mark for the first time in the suburb.

Frank Ruffo, director of Hodges Bentleigh, which managed the sale, said auction of the generations old business, Broadbents Garden Supplies, attracted 22 bids, with 14 bidders vying for the prime piece of real estate on the day.

He said the international developer who bought the property for about $4600 per square meter, has plans to turn the 324 Centre Rd site into a multi-level retail and apartment complex.

Mr Ruffo said his agency knew the prime spot would garner interest, but the final price surprised even them.

“We had aspirations around $3 million and something, we just didn’t think the extra something would be an extra million and ten thousand dollars” Mr Ruffo said.

He said the 14 bidders on auction day were all developers, which was indicative of the “seachange” happening in Glen Eira.

New planning zones and changing demographics have made Bentleigh a “highly sought after suburb where developers were keen to get a foothold,” he said.

Recently another developer, Launch Corporation, also bought up seven neighbouring properties on the corner of East Boundary Rd and Centre Rd for just over $6.5 million.

On the 3,415sq m site they plan to invest somewhere between $60-$70 million to build a mixed-use development of about 100 apartments and five retail outlets.

“There are a lot of developers inquiring about finding land in the area, and it’s a trend that’s growing,” Mr Ruffo said.

“Over the next 10 years, we’re going to see a dramatic change in Bentleigh.

“When you walk down Centre Rd, instead of seeing the traditional two-storey Art Deco buildings, you’ll start to see four or five storey buildings in their place.”

For the record, Broadbents is still operating, having moved to South Rd, Moorabbin.


  • Forget 4 or 5 storeys. The land is zoned Commercial and in order to fit in 100 apartments chances are the building will be more in the order of 7 or 8 storeys.
  • Where are the cars from 100 units going to park? How many will be single bedroom chicken coops? Broadbents is close to Aldi, and other popular shops – not to mention Mavho and Loranne Streets that are now seeing applications for 4 storeys and heaps of units.
  • Where is Council’s parking precinct plans promised over a decade ago but yet to materialise?
  • Will resident rates be paying for all the extra drainage infrastructure required rather than the developer?
  • When will councillors start grappling with the planning problems they have so successfully unleashed? – when everyone currently living in Bentleigh, McKinnon, Carnegie sells out to more and more developers so that Bentleigh can officially turn into the next decade’s slums? This like everything else (environmental sustainable design, size of apartments) is never council’s problem but always a state problem!
  • And what of open space (both private and public). Oh yes, we mustn’t forget the Centre Road rotunda that was also the subject of ‘community consultation’ over three years ago and not a whisper since. But Bentleigh is not Elsternwick, is it?

PS: Just to highlight the insanity, if not straight out incompetence of the new zones, the planning map below is worthy of consideration. If the Broadbent site does reach 8 storeys, then what ‘protection’ is provided for those residents living directly behind in a neighbourhood residential zone (Campbell Street) or even those residents living the other side in Mavho? Allowing NRZ to directly abut commercial is not strategic planning – it is lousy planning in spades!