The City of Wyndham’s landmark $500 million Wyndham Harbour development has recently sold all of its 350 land blocks and seen completion of the 150-berth southern marina.
The project, which launched to the market in 2003, comprised of 200 house and land packages, 240 apartments across two buildings and 60 townhouses, centred around its crowning 350-berth marina with capacity for up to 1000 berths.
The project’s most recent milestones signify a renewed approach to delivering complex marina developments that utilises innovative funding and de-risking strategies, negating many of the roadblocks that have faced ill-fated marina projects of the past.
Wyndham Harbour became a case study for achieving innovative funding solutions across complex multi-stage development with many different stakeholders, according to the project’s financier and advisors, Monark Property Partners.
“When Monark Property Partners executives first became involved in the Wyndham Harbour Marina project in 2009, it was the cusp of the Global Financial Crisis so the funding environment meant such a complex asset such as this was particularly difficult to get off the ground,” Monark Property Partners CEO Michael Kark said.
The Wyndham Harbour project turned traditional marina funding strategies on its head by mapping a funding solution that saw the profit from the land development fund the marina delivery.
“The original development agreement with council required the actual marina facility to be delivered upfront, however from a funding and market point of view this simply would not have been achievable, both the risks and level of debt required would have rendered the project unviable," Mr Kark said.
“The challenge we faced was to develop a funding strategy that would meet the conditions of the council development agreement while simultaneously allowing the developer to sell the first few stages of land.
“This created an environment in which profits from the land sales could be escrowed to contribute towards the marina construction, and raise senior debt for the remaining stages of the project.”
“By compartmentalising the project at each stage, we were able to de-risk the project and create an environment that was attractive to secure future funding from the banks,” Mr Kark said.
“This involved a close relationship with council and various other stakeholders to demonstrate that at all stages of the project, there was a sufficient line of finance that could be drawn down upon once each condition of the agreement had been met."Mr Kark said a roadmap was developed from which to execute this strategy, which has seen the final sell-out of the remaining land lots and the commencement of the construction of the final 137-apartment building ‘The Lighthouse’.
“When the project again faced difficulties in the changing funding landscape of 2016, we were able to redeploy this strategy with fresh eyes to attract alternative funding for the final stages of the precinct, namely the final apartment building and two stages of land subdivision."