The iconic Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets site on Mildura Street has sold to a local investor for more than $60 million.
The markets are on 26,582 square metres of land with 542 car spaces and include 1,500 square metres of land for possible future expansion.
“Our price guide started at around $60 million and we were well above that,” partner at Burgess Rawson Billy Holderhead said.
It’s been a protracted sale process due to the recent COVID lockdown. According to Mr Holderhead, photographers were scheduled to visit the site the day lockdown was announced (12 August).
Eventually, it was opened to expressions of interest in mid-October.
That expression of interest closed on 19 November and the property was sold through a boardroom auction.
“With a property of that nature, there’s a fair few moving parts, with so many different tenants and people looking at the future a little bit differently from buyer to buyer,” said Mr Holderhead.
“We weren’t going to say anything, but there are a few rumours going around Canberra about what’s going on and what’s happened, and the auction that happened, so we thought we should say something, otherwise it could get out of hand.”
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Mr Holderhead said a number of local investors showed significant interest in the property, as well as several fund managers.
He added that it was difficult to compare this sale price with any other sales locally or even nationwide.
“It’s not like there’s a market for fresh food markets as such. There’s not a whole lot of properties you can benchmark it with, without a Woolworths or Coles anchor,” Mr Holderhead explained.
“There was a lot of people just trying to get their head around that. They’re looking at a neighbourhood shopping centre, between say $30 million and $60 million, and trying to work out where it fits.
“It’s almost like an infrastructure play really. That thing is going to be there for another 100 years. It will evolve and probably intensify over time, but there’s room to expand it without doing too many structural things,” he said.
In October, the sellers, Barbara and Jack Irvine, told Region Media what they believed were important factors for the new owners to consider.
“Every business at Fyshwick Markets contributes in their own unique way, which is what makes the Markets so successful. We hope the new owners value the nuances of the overall operation and the Markets continue to thrive,” Mr and Mrs Irvine said.
Six years ago, the site was sold to the Irvines for $42.2 million.