The Sunbury site that everyone wants

Wednesday 3 February 2016

Written by Adrian Ballantyne, Real Commercial

It’s a barren block of land with a dilapidated building and a couple of sheds. So why is this Melbourne property attracting so much interest?

Investors and local businesses have made countless attempts to purchase the 4083sqm landholding in regional Sunbury, 40km north-west of the city, over the past 12 years but all to no avail.

The owners – a family that has held the land for more than two decades – showed no interest in giving up the former petrol station site as the list of developable land in the booming outer-urban hub dwindled year by year.

So when they finally decided the time was right to list the property for sale in recent weeks, offers and interest came in a predictable rush.

And now it’s expected to sell for more than $1.8 million.

We’ve had bucketloads of enquiry

The land at 46-48 Macedon St, which sits alongside Hume City Council’s Sunbury offices, will be sold at a public auction on-site on Thursday, February 25.

Selling agent and Burgess Rawson senior executive Ben Appel says the property has been one of the most talked-about in Melbourne’s north-west for some time.

“It’s been undeveloped for a long, long time and a lot of people have tried to buy it. We’ve been approached to try and buy it, we’ve had several developer clients and people with strong, big local property interests ask us about it and ask us to investigate it,” Appel says.

“This site has been discussed by everybody at all sorts of levels and I think a lot of people have imagined many different uses for it.”

“We’ve had bucketloads of enquiry.”

Hume City Council is tipped to be among the interested buyers at the auction.

“There’s expected interest from council, who own the vast property next door. They’ve contacted me several times already and they’d be the logical people to buy it, but that in itself spurs interest in others,” Appel says.

The block features 40m of street frontage to Macedon St, attracts passing traffic of 26,000 vehicles per day and is zoned for uses including retail, offices, a petrol station, childcare, medical or mixed use.

It’s one of the first and only undeveloped blocks that you see when you drive into Sunbury

Appel says the interest in the property has been driven by the ever-shrinking lack of developable land in Sunbury, which has been spruiked as one of Melbourne’s future ‘mini-cities’ as its local population continues to grow.

The land, which is situated only 14km from Melbourne Airport, has a potential trade catchment of more than 75,000 people every day.

“It’s one of the first and only undeveloped blocks that you see when you drive into Sunbury,” Appel says.

“As you enter the town you start seeing all this established housing and everything, and the council have their massive complex of offices on the left. And then you have this big block staring you in the face.”