DEVELOPMENT site values have doubled in the Montague precinct of Fishermans Bend following the area's rezoning as big property players position themselves.
The state government's move to rezone large sections of old industrial land south of the Yarra River to ''capital city zone'' in June has prompted a flurry of interest.
The government has yet to finalise a master plan, planning controls or infrastructure levies, but the new zoning effectively allows development without mandatory height limits on 200 hectares of land between Southbank and Docklands that will form five new suburbs.
Most of the recent interest centres on the Montague Precinct which sits neatly between City Road, Johnson and Boundary streets close to the CBD on the route of the 96 and 109 light rail line.
According to agents, values in the area have doubled, with prime development sites attracting a premium, a result of the new suburb's proximity to the city and zoning changes.
Agents Dawkins Occhiuto are believed to have sold a small 800 square metre office site at 91 Montague Street this week to a developer for more than $3.4 million.
It previously changed hands in 2011 for $1.8 million.
Two large property players, Austpac and MAB, positioned themselves early in Montague.
Malimar Pty Ltd, controlled by MAB founders Michael and Andrew Buxton, owns a prime parcel at 15-87 Gladstone Street.
Austpac, which lists interests in Richmond and Footscray developments, bought a large self-storage property at 123-135 Montague Street for $12.7 million two years ago.
The potential development of the site has since been clouded with ownership appearing to pass to a group called Sandhurst Trustees last February.
Other large developers also have stakes in Fishermans Bend. Well-known developer Harry Stamoulis paid soap manufacturer Symex Holdings $25 million for a 4 hectare site at 14 Woodruff Street behind the Port Melbourne football ground.
Settlement for the site in the new Sandridge precinct is scheduled for March 15 next year.
Redevelopment of Fishermans Bend won't be a fast process, said Fitzroys agent Charles Emmett.
''Redevelopment reflecting the capital city zoning will be gradual as it will be subject to long-term leases expiring and sites becoming available for redevelopment,'' he said.
Some owners may choose to re-let properties to industrial tenants even when leases expire, particularly in locations further from the city where high-density, mixed-use development may not yet be fully supported by the market, he said.
In the heavily industrialised Wirraway precinct, furthest from the city, the Goodman Group is a major owner. Goodman controls the Port Central Business Park at 520 Graham Street, the Port Melbourne Industrial Estate at 437-481 Plummer Street and the Port and Business Park at 394 Bridge Road and 153 Bertie Street.
All sites should have residential development potential.
Another large group, Salta Properties, owns land near the Yarra River that has not yet been rezoned.
A lot of sites had recently come on the market, particularly in the Montague precinct, said Dawkins Occhiuto director Walter Occhiuto. ''It's really site specific. There has certainly been an increase in value but some will increase more than others.''