The football club’s board decided on Thursday night it would stay based at its tired Arden Street training facility, despite a $100 million carrot tempting the club to move to the Gold Coast.
Speculation of a move from Arden Street started several years ago and intensified throughout 2007. The prospect has whet the appetite of dozens of residential developers, who are desperate to get their hands on a prime-pile of inner-city real estate.
According to one local agent who wished to remain anonymous, the football club’s training ground asset could be worth anything up to $80 million, depending on what percentage of the site could be developed on.
Mirvac was the last major developer to snare a piece of Victorian football history, buying the VFL Park stadium in Mulgrave about five years ago. It has almost finished developing the site into a $1 billion townhouse and apartment project.
Much to the disappointment of historians and lobby groups, 2007 has seen several iconic Melbourne sites make their way into the hands of high rise apartment developers.
Recently, Stockland announced it bought the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind building on St Kilda Road for close to $30 million.
Boutique residential developer R.Corporation is rumoured to be close to buying Channel Nine’s outgoing Bendigo Street studios in Richmond, in a deal which could be worth around $80 million.
However, there are some saviours in the wings. Prestigious private school St Michael’s this week paid $3.8 million at auction to buy the Astor Theatre in St Kilda, effectively rescuing the high profile cinema from a fate as high rise apartments.