A popular destination for many Canberrans building or renovating their home will soon close its doors and its prominent Fyshwick site will be sold.
The Housing Industry Association’s Home Improvement Centre, occupying two buildings at 28 and 30 Collie Street, has been home to the Association’s team providing advice and services on products and materials for almost 15 years.
The HIA’s ACT and Southern NSW Executive Director Greg Weller said it had been a difficult decision late last year to shut the business but the greater reliance on online trading had forced the organisation’s hand.
“It’s been a part of the home building scene in Canberra for a decade and a half and it’s quite iconic so in that respect it will disappointing for many to see it go, as we’ve certainly been there for many Canberrans’ journey with building their home,” Mr Weller said.
“But we saw over the last year through COVID how much more people can adapt to conducting business in the virtual world, and certainly the Home Improvement Centre has been a casualty of that in Canberra.”
The premises have also been home to the ACT and Southern NSW HIA headquarters and the search is on for new offices for its staff and operations.
The Home Improvement Centre tenants were advised last year but it is still operating for the time being.
HIA bought the sites on Collie and Albany Streets in 2004 and the buildings remain two of the most well-known and highest quality buildings in Canberra’s main mixed-use industrial precinct.
They are now on the market through an Expression of Interest process and Mr Weller said HIA was hopeful there would be strong interest.
Colliers is handling the sale and said the buildings were expected to attract intense competition.
Colliers Director Capital Markets and Investment Services, Matthew Winter said the buildings were located on one of Fyshwick’s most prominent high-traffic corners and were one of the precinct’s best known and best positioned assets.
“This is a unique opportunity to obtain a modern, commercial office and showroom in Fyshwick,” Mr Winter said.
He said Fyshwick was currently experiencing its lowest vacancy rate in more than 10 years and was outstandingly connected to the rest of the city and region.
The buildings are being made available together or individually and provide more than 3,000 square metres of net lettable area (NLA) as well as on-grade car parking, storage, a cafe and signage opportunities.
“The fact the properties can be bought separately or together provides both owner-occupier and investor opportunities,” Mr Winter said.
“There are numerous options to add improvements and modify existing layout to suit various tenants or operations. There is also the potential to modify their internal layout to increase NLA.”
The premises will be offered as vacant possession.
Mr Winter said demand for commercial sites in Canberra remained strong.
“Through the COVID pandemic, Canberra once again demonstrated its ability to weather global economic ups and downs and during 2020 we had a huge level of inquiry from investors looking to purchase property in this secure and prospering market,” he said.
“However, only a small number of assets were released for sale, so those potential buyers are still looking.”
The Expressions of Interest process closes at 4 pm on Thursday 8 April.