Simon Roylance is a Mornington Peninsula local. He moved to Mt Eliza in grade 2, attending Mt Eliza North Primary School followed by Peninsula Grammar and then Mt Eliza High School.
Simon was lucky enough to spend a year in France as an exchange student and this cemented his love of languages. As a result Simon studied Mandarin at University and lived in Shanghai for months before changing to IT upon his return. He moved to Melbourne when he landed a corporate job as a network engineer.
Deciding to come back to the Mornington Peninsula, Simon joined Foxwood Property, the company engaged to sell the land plots and the residential apartments in Martha Cove. He completed his Agent’s Rep course and nearly six years on Simon is now the Sales Manager on this amazing venture.
There’s an extensive history behind the Martha Cove project. The plans were on the table for around thirty years, and when the project finally got underway it all went sour quite quickly. “The investment group literally dug themselves a $300 million dollar hole and filled it with water,” explains Simon. “They moved more earth than Eastlink creating the harbour.”
“When I joined the group it had already gone bankrupt, and a few different investment partnerships tried to take on the project but it sat in the hands of the Receivers for several years. So the bank finally decided to sell the land off themselves to get some sort of return. This was our charter.”
The biggest hurdle Simon and the team had was overcoming the fears and objections of potential buyers. “Trying to sell the land to people who were fearful of the track record of the project was difficult, but once they understood that they were actually buying from the Receivers so the price they were getting was unbeatable, and never to be repeated, the interest grew."
"They were getting an incredible deal for these waterfront plots that they could then build on in their own time and according to their own design tastes. With prices starting at around $450,000 in the early days, the buyers who got in at that time have seen returns of $1.2 - $1.6 million. The last and biggest of the blocks have sold for around $1.9million. The final blocks sold around two years ago, so the land that is available now is limited and via re-sale from the original owners.”
Martha Cove itself is now on a trajectory for success. The zone will feature multiple retail areas within the Marina Village Square to create a main street feel, with retail outlets at street level and residential apartments above. There are three to four restaurants planned, the first of which – called Martha’s – is scheduled to open around July. The retail stores and fresh food grocer will follow from there. The current apartment buildings are scheduled for completion in a few months, so residents will be moving in very soon.
Says Simon, “There’s probably a good three of four years to go still working on Martha Cove, and it will be so exciting to see the area come to life after all these years.”
Sales: 1800 440 255
Mob: 0412 522 629
9 The Cove, Safety Beach