Strong interest in buying Belconnen’s iconic food markets

Glynis Quinlan 25 June 2017 1

Interest is already strong in purchasing one of Canberra’s oldest and most iconic fresh food markets as part of a distinctive mixed use precinct development.

Nine interested parties from Canberra and Sydney are already exploring the opportunity to buy Belconnen Fresh Food Markets and associated development sites, with expressions of interest not due to close until August 3.

On offer is quite a rare opportunity to buy and upgrade the popular fresh food markets and make them the heart of a precinct with the potential for more than 340 residential units, as well as new commercial and retail spaces.

“There’s only really two large fresh food markets in Canberra, being Fyshwick and Belconnen,” said Laing+Simmons Commercial Property managing director Alex Smith.

“There’s nowhere else in Canberra where you can develop a precinct anchored by a fresh food market as opposed to a traditional retail market.”

Located one kilometre from the Belconnen Town Centre, Belconnen Fresh Food Markets have been operating since 1976 and for the past 25 years have been owned and run by the well-known Efkarpidis family.

The bustling markets tend to be a hub of activity as shoppers look for healthy, locally grown food along with other goods and services. Meanwhile children can play in the six-metre tall ‘Giant Mushroom’ playground, which Mr Smith described as a “serious icon”.

A total of 36 businesses currently operate at the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets, which are across the road from Bunnings and bounded by Lathlain Street, Market Street and Ibbott Lane.

The sale of the markets on their 18,890 square metre site includes two other adjacent sites – namely a 6,077 square metre gravel car park available for development and a 4,818 square metre site with development approval for 170 residential units.

“This great opportunity with Belconnen Fresh Food Markets is to create an amazing mixed use precinct incorporating a bustling fresh food marketplace in the heart of a precinct that is an exciting place to live, work and play,” said Mr Smith.

“In addition to the fresh food market, the right mix would incorporate short, medium and long-term residential accommodation, professional suites for small businesses and recreational facilities for all to enjoy.”

Mr Smith said the markets have always been a community-based offering and that the Efkarpidis family “have done very well in that they have a fantastic relationship with the community”.

Mr Smith believes that the sale will benefit the existing businesses operating at the markets.

“I think it will be a great opportunity purely because someone will come in, breathe new life into the markets, and take it to that next level of progress,” he said.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the business opportunity should contact Mr Smith on 6209 5050 or click here to go to the website.

Top three photos: Belconnen Fresh Food Markets (outside and inside).
Fourth and fifth images: Two renderings from the proposed ‘loop precinct masterplan’ developed for the site. (Images supplied by Laing+Simmons).

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One Response to Strong interest in buying Belconnen’s iconic food markets
CanberraStreets CanberraStreets 11:16 am 26 Jun 17

All I require is that any new owner is required to maintain (and possibly enhance) The Big Mushroom that protects the children’s playground.

The Big Mushroom is the only proper Big Thing in the ACT. Wikipedia includes Bruce Armstrong’s Owl sculpture (aka The Great Penis Owl) but it lacks the novelty element of traditional Big Things.

Think of the children! Save the Big Mushroom!

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