10 August 2023

Bega Group hoping to cream $20m from sale of former Canberra Milk site

| Ian Bushnell
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aerial view of buildings

An aerial view of the former Canberra Milk factory and buildings on Mildura Street. Photos: Colliers.

A clutch of properties in Griffith that were home to the Canberra Milk operations is on the market, with one-time owner Bega Group hoping to fetch $20 million.

Marketed by Colliers as the Mildura Street Collection, the package consists of five individual assets with a combined area of 20,045 square metres.

The site has been home to the operations of Bega Dairy from 1937 and its subsidiary Capitol Chilled Foods Australia. This is the first time it has been offered for sale in more than 80 years.

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It includes the dairy farmers’ factory and office building, free-standing warehousing, loading bays, hardstand areas, refrigerated facilities and the original caretaker’s cottage, but does come with heritage constraints.

Blocks 1 and 2 on the site are registered on the ACT Heritage Register, with three buildings designed by prominent 20th-century architect Ken Oliphant.

Its strategic location in one of Canberra’s blue ribbon suburbs and on the edge of the proposed urban infill development of East Lake makes it a prime investment opportunity.

Positioned along Mildura Street and Wentworth Avenue, the site is ideally located in close proximity to Manuka, Kingston, Fyshwick, the markets and Canberra’s interstate train station.

brick building

The site has never been offered for sale in its 80-plus-year history.

Colliers agent Matthew Winter said the site was a very prominent corner that could be part of a future development project.

“There’s quite a lot of flexibility there and it could be worked into the East Lake development as it evolves,” he said.

Mr Winter said that there was already quite a lot of open space among the 20,000 square metres available and medium to high-density apartments could be part of the mix.

“It just comes down to what happens with that precinct,” he said.

“A lot of locals and developers have been speculating on the long-term prospects of the area and buying up land.

“As these last blocks have become available the pricing has moved with the scarcity.”

Another aerial view showing the site boundaries and location.

Mr Winter said Colliers had already received strong interest, mainly from locals who have a good understanding of the precinct and the significance of the site, but also interstate developers looking for a bit more scale in the future.

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All but one property is being offered as vacant possession. Bega has moved its processing to Penrith but is still retaining a presence in Canberra. It has a five-year lease on Block 5 to use for distribution and storage, providing holding income for purchasers.

The Mildura Street Collection is being offered through an Expression of Interest process, which closes on 12 September.

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Clever Interrobang11:41 am 13 Aug 23

The fact that they’re still calling it Canberra Milk is deceptive, especially when you consider that they don’t own the Canberra Milk brand or trade mark (the ACT government does), and they’re stealing and misusing something (the Canberra Milk brand) that is our property and belongs to us

Deceptive? Stealing the brand? I am sure the govt is getting their cut!
Bega Milk has been operating, employing and supporting Canberrans for 86 years under the Canberra Milk brand. I have family who have fond memories of working for the company in the ‘60s. I hope the owners make a Motza.
And what a great place to live if apartments are built and the light rail goes through!!

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