Rocco Michael Angelo Pellicanò, at the age of 40, left his Stonemason business Fossato Ionico in Calabria, Italy, and arrived in Australia in October to join his brother Domenico (Mick) who had migrated in November 1927, at the age of 24 (before World War II).
Rocco formed a partnership with his brother Mick and they ran a bricklaying and concrete business from Mick’s house at 115 Greville Street, East Oakleigh.
Rocco’s family: his wife Antonina aged 35 and their three sons, Domenico aged 16, Nunzio aged 13 and Frank aged 8, joined him on the 26th April 1955. They lived at the parental home built by Rocco in Macrina Street, East Oakleigh, which later became the business headquarters until 1969. Antonina assisted in the business wherever she could while raising her new Australian born son Robert.
Tragedy struck and Rocco died suddenly of a heart attack on 2nd December 1957.
Nunzio joined his uncle Mick to carry on the family business left by his father.
Nunzio left the family business and joined Guido and Nick Assetta in their residential building company to gain further building experience. In 1961, at the age of 19, Nunzio formed a building company with Guido, and registered Aspel Construction Pty Ltd (Assetta/
Pellicano). They built houses for the influx of European migrants, mainly Italians and Greeks, whilst carrying out concreting and bricklaying activities.
Nunzio Pellicano became a member of the Housing Industry Association (HIA), and employed younger brother Frank at Aspel to undertake a bricklaying and building apprenticeship.
The family sold all of their assets in Italy to raise capital so they could grow the business as this was a material way of realising Rocco’s dream of a new start in the relatively new land of Australia.
A partnership is born…
In 1967, Nunzio and Frank left Aspel and formed a partnership as bricklayers, taking on the challenge of contract home building. They began operating from their parental home in East Oakleigh, with their only joint assets being a Holden ute and a trailer. They had the help from their mother, Antonina, who tendered to phone calls and assisted in any way she could.
This was the year that gave the Pellicano brothers their first big break: the development of 12 residential apartments in Oakleigh East, which were sold for a total of $125,000.
By now the business had grown to the point where the partnership was incorporated, forming A&F Pellicano, with a transfer of the assets for $28,726. This enabled the business to grow more rapidly and speculative residential developments, mainly of units and flats, could begin. By this time, Nunzio and his wife Assunta moved to 101 Clayton Road, Clayton and their home became the company’s new headquarters.
Assunta also joined the family business, liaising with clients, as well as managing all bookkeeping, finance administration and being a secretary to both Nunzio and Frank.
Due to the expansion, volume and quality of work in flats and apartments rather than detached housing, A&F Pellicano Pty Ltd was invited to become a member of the Master
The group was admitted to the Master Builders Housing Fund Guarantee, meaning there was virtually no restriction on the amount of construction development work the group could undertake.
The Whitlam years saw high inflation and a doubling of property values in Australia in a very short period of time and, consequently, the group grew stronger, expanding in a controlled manner throughout the 70s.
Frank and Nunzio built their first industrial development: three factoriettes at the corner of Westall Road and Brear Street in Westall.
The early 80s were a recessionary time and work slowed considerably. To enable the business to retain all its work force, the group expanded into other sectors of the construction industry including retail, commercial and industrial. Pellicano Building Contractors Pty Ltd was incorporated to undertake all the non-residential work.
The company began promoting full one-stop shop property solutions, with the assistance of professional services provided by two other Pellicano brothers: Robert and his architectural firm, and Domenic with his legal and accounting firms.
The business grew and moved to 10 Manton Road Oakleigh, to cater for the increase in employee numbers and development jobs.
The company purchased 26.7 hectares in Scoresby, which was to become Jells Park Industrial Estate, a joint venture purchase with David Goldberger, David Whelan and architect turned property developer, the late Mr Albert Genser.
Occupiers included: Dalton Packaging, PepsiCo, Berendsen, Aluminium Specialties, and Danon.
“It is now almost 12 months since we moved into our spatial new premises of which we can both be very proud. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you and your lovely staff for creating such a lovely working environment.”
Danon Marketing International
The first retirement village was developed at Doveton with JV partners Ron Overs and Polly Mazaris.
By the end of the decade, the group was specialising in industrial developments and became a force in design and construct projects with residential projects only representing approximately 20% of total work.
The group had also formed several key joint venture partners including the Minnici brothers with the roll out of Fuel Zone, as well as other developments with Kevin Nixon and John Altson.
This decade started with an even larger recession and the Group reverted to survival mode. They were incredibly tough years – property values tumbled as much as 50% and interest rates rose to more than 20% per annum and many good solid companies went under.
Fortunately for the Group, its reputation for quality and honesty built over 20 years saw wins of enough work so the business survived – a little battered but still intact.
“We wish to express our thanks and appreciation for your successful completion of the bank’s building and fit-out at 2 Eaton Street, Oakleigh. The quality of workmanship on the project is to be complimented. More importantly, the project was completed within time and budget.”
National Australia Bank
The first of the next generation, Michael Pellicano, joined the group as a Construction Site Supervisor.
Pellicano purchased various lots from Melbourne Water in Woodlands Estate totalling approximately 30 hectares, and undertook numerous design and construct projects for clients. These included Aggreko, Commercial Minerals, PPG, Tradelink, HR Rolls, Target, Flavour Makers, Toro and Gale Australia (18,640m2), a Master Builders Winner in 1996.
“I would like to express on behalf of Gale Australia, our appreciation of your company’s efforts including those of other sub-contractors involved in achieving completion of the works to enable our relocation. Gale Australia regards your efforts as entirely commendable in face of the inclement weather conditions and would be pleased if you will appropriately convey our appreciation to all concerned.”
The Company won the prestigious Dun & Bradstreet Building and Allied Services Award in recognition of strong sustainable growth.
The rest of the decade saw the Group further expand and consolidate its position as a leader in design and construct projects, industrial land subdivision and contract building in all sectors of the construction industry. Pellicano Builders Pty Ltd was formed on 11 June 1996, replacing Pellicano Building Contractors.
Pellicano Builders Pty Ltd was formed on 11 June 1996, replacing Pellicano Building Contractors.
Pellicano Rise & Rise The economy picked up again by the middle of the decade and, by this stage, the Group was rapidly expanding. The type of client was also changing to have a more corporate focus and so the move to 597 Blackburn Road in Notting Hill was made.
Maroondah Industrial Estate was purchased and developed over seven years with a series of land sales pre-commitments for the 12-hectare site, which has since set the tone for the Kilsyth and Canterbury Road business belt.
Pellicano is proud to have constructed a number of buildings on the estate including Valbruna, Target, In Motion Audio, Timber, Panel Productions, Turnils, Turssfab, Zodiac and several speculative developments.
Remington Industrial Estate was launched in April 1997, a 46-hectare site in Dandenong, purchased in a joint venture with Dansu Constructions.
This was Pellicano’s first major business park in Dandenong. Clients included Nitto Denko, Camec, John Ryan Removals, Hume Doors, Konway Express, Sunace, Reigal Paper, Cobe, Peteron, Membrey’s Transport, Kleins, Pine Solutions, Snorkel and Selection Steel.
The 51-hectare property of Parkview Estate was purchased from South East Water in 1996 and officially opened by the Victorian Premier, the Honorable Jeff Kennett on 14 August 1998.
“Your firm has greatly contributed to Victoria’s economic recovery and the award pays tribute to your performance in the market place, achievements and success. You will no doubt continue to set the standards for the building industry in Victoria. I wish you continued success in your endeavours.”
Premier of Victoria
The second of the younger generation, Nando Pellicano, joined the group initially in the construction department and later shifting to the property side of the business.
The first stage of M1/M2 Estates in Dandenong was purchased, which later included a facility being constructed for a division of BHP Billiton, BlueScope Lysaght.
“I would like to acknowledge Pellicano’s support, capability and reliability in delivering what I can only describe as a brilliant new manufacturing facility. The ahead of completion and quality of finish depicts the reputation attributable to your firm.”
Notting Hill Business Campus was purchased.
“The Pellicano Building Company is highly regarded by all of us involved in property development in Melbourne. It is a tribute to the Pellicano reputation and expertise that this project (Toyota Technical Centre) is being developed in Notting Hill, rather than in Port Melbourne or near Tullamarine Airport.
Congratulations once again, and may there be many more years of Pellicano success in building development.”
Jones Lang LaSalle Advisory
Renato and Antonio Pellicano joined the group, bringing the number of the next generation in the family business to four. Pellicano developed Mazda Australia’s new head office at 395 Ferntree Gully Road Notting Hill. The construction program was extremely tight, and the project commenced after Mazda signed off on a serviette at a boardroom lunch meeting.
“Mazda was extremely pleased with the ability of Pellicano to bring the project to a satisfactory conclusion on time and without costly overruns. Pellicano’s emphasis on communication with Mazda and client relationship was excellent – and still is.”
The company undertook a restructure to better position itself for the future, and Pellicano Group was established to incorporate Pellicano Pty Ltd and Pellicano Builders Pty Ltd.
The Group commenced development in Queensland.
“It has been a pleasure working with your team and yourself throughout the construction of the Bremer facility that has become the foundation for Capral’s future.”
Pellicano Builders is listed in the BRW Top 500 private companies, listed at 493.
“The premises are regarded by our parent company in Sweden as the best company facility in the entire group. As you are aware, ASKO have offices throughout Scandinavia and the USA.”
Pellicano continues to go from strength to strength.
Launched PPT1 (Pellicano Property Trust 1), an unlisted property trust valued at $140 million at the time, whereby ISPT purchased a 50% shareholding.
Purchased a 77-hectare site in Ravenhall, for what is now known as Orbis Business Park.
Purchased 73 hectares in Dandenong for what is now known as Innovation Park.
Pellicano Builders and Pellicano Group established Queensland office.
Pellicano Builders received the overall Dun & Bradstreet Award.
Pellicano obtained its Australian Financial Services Licence.
Pellicano relocates to new Melbourne corporate office.
Pellicano Group completes its first ever residential high rise development, Balencea, in joint venture with Sunland Group.
Purchased Paradise Resort in joint venture with Zagame’s, a 357-room family resort situated on the Gold Coast.
Pellicano Group and Pellicano Builders purchase their new headquarters for Brisbane, 118 Arthur St Fortitude Valley.
Pellicano’s momentous milestone of 45 years in operations was celebrated in 2012 in Melbourne’s CBD at Zinc, Federation Square. CLICK HERE to view our 45 Year Anniversary Year E-Book.
Successfully deliver $43 mill Eastwood Apartments development to willing Brisbane buyers. This is the first residential development in Queensland for the Pellicano Group.
The Pellicano Group successfully launched Pellicano Investments 3 an unlisted industrial property trust valued at $152 million in January 2014 whereby Sunsuper purchased a 50% share holding.
9th February 1947 – 28th May 2015
A warm and charismatic man, so vivacious and full of life. His dedication to hard work, coupled with his intelligence, have provided a wonderful life for his family and many others.
He inspired all those around him and his laughter was contagious.
Always a proud and supportive husband, father, brother and uncle to us all. He will be missed and forever remembered.
The legacy he created will live on in us and in those people whose lives he touched.
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