In Building, Developers, Property Development

How The Pellicano Family Has Stood the Test of Time

For over 50 years, the Pellicano family has been ingrained in building Melbourne. From humble beginnings, Italian-born brothers Rocco and Domenico Pellicano entered the bricklaying trade in Australia in 1952. By 1967, the next generation of Pellicanos – Frank and Nunzio – established a family bricklaying business that would go on to become one of Australia’s largest diversified builder/developers.


Now under the direction of the third generation, Pellicano is reaching new heights with game-changing projects, stamping their mark on the family business and the wider property industry.

In 2019, the team has so far lodged plans for the biggest water park in the southern hemisphere, broken ground on a hotel project in the Gold Coast, implemented a residential management arm of the business in Pellicano Living and made significant progress at a large residential project in Oakleigh, Victoria.

Pellicano currently owns and manages more than 170 properties, with over 310 commercial clients and has a diverse property portfolio comprising residential, commercial, retail and large format retail, industrial and the hospitality sectors.

Over this period of 50 plus years, the property market has seen its fair share of peaks and troughs and Pellicano has certainly weathered many of these storms. It is a fierce commitment to family values that has seen their business stand the test of time.

Pellicano is still run by a directorship made up entirely of family members, with each bringing their own unique passions and skill sets, driving varied areas of their diverse business and constantly evolving their strategy.


Perhaps the boldest of their latest endeavours is Zagame’s Wild Water Park, an ambitious $100 million project proposed for Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs which recently made front-page news as the plans were lodged with council. 


Zagame’s Wild Water Park


The project is the brainchild of two of the Victorian property industry’s most prominent families – the Pellicanos and the Zagames and has been over seven years in the making.

It consists of 18,200sqm of inside space and 20,000sqm outside meaning it can be enjoyed by families all year round. Visitors will experience video-game style competitive water tunnels, surfing in a wave pool seven times larger than the Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre’s or simply relaxing on the 423m lazy river, whilst also indulging in several high quality food and beverage offerings – something the team noted is often lacking at family venues.

Marking a major investment in Victoria’s tourism industry, the project is estimated to create 1,184 new full-time job opportunities within Dingley Village and the wider City of Kingston community, with forecasts placing projected visitation numbers at over one million annually.

“Pellicano has owned this site for over 30 years and is thrilled to reveal our plans to inject much-needed, year-round, all-weather fun into Melbourne’s family entertainment landscape,” said Pellicano Managing Director, Nando Pellicano.

“At Pellicano we consistently aim to deliver high-quality, dynamic projects and we have made every effort to incorporate this ideology of excellence in the planning stages of this project,” he said.

It is clear that the foundation laid by Frank and Nunzio from their parental home in East Oakleigh back in 1967 is the driving force behind this dynamic family business, and this reverence to the family’s humble beginnings is what will see Pellicano continue to thrive in whatever conditions the market may bring.


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