China backed developer pays $26 million for Brisbane’s former Bradken foundry

Four months after ceasing operations on the site, global engineering business Bradken has sold a Runcorn foundry, in south Brisbane, for $26 million.

The incoming owner, a Chinese backed local developer, is intending to replace the 16.2 hectare brownfield block with a master planned mixed use project following a rezoning.

Bradken listed the site last July via Knight Frank’s partner, head of Investment Sales, Christian Sandstrom, and colleague, Mark Clifford.

The expressions of interest campaign which closed on August 22, 2019 was targeted to owner occupiers, as well as developers, they said.

“Interest in the site had been very strong even prior to the sale campaign, with both local and offshore buyers eyeing of the site for many years with the intention of converting it from its current industrial use,” Mr Sandstrom added.

“It was a rare opportunity, being one of the last few remaining large brownfield sites close to public transport in Brisbane.

“The expressions of interest process attracted strong interest both locally and abroad and at the close of the campaign we received eight offers, with a foreign developer being the successful buyer”.

The Runcorn site, 54A and 32 Bonemill Road, had been held by Bradken since 1955.

Bradken has operated since 1922.

The ex-Bradken foundry

Runcorn is about 14 kilometres from the Brisbane CBD.

The agents promoted that the ex-foundry block offers enormous potential for a mixed-use development containing retail, commercial, residential, entertainment and medical stock.

It was marketed with a development scheme, not a permit, for a precinct incorporating these building types.

“The buyer intends to redevelop the site for a mixed-use scheme complementing the surrounding uses, subject to council approvals,” Mr Sandstrom said.

Mr Clifford added the sale would see the now unused site, potentially transformed into a vibrant hub.

“It’s a prime redevelopment site in a great location, situated in a high-growth region of Brisbane opposite the Runcorn train station and overlooking the green spaces of Runcorn’s sports precinct.

“A future redevelopment of the site will provide more housing, employment and facilities for residents of Brisbane’s south, while transforming Runcorn into a modern cosmopolitan hub.

“We work with many large clients who own or run industrial businesses to assist them in unlocking value in their property assets. The Runcorn site is a prime example of this,” the executive added.

“It’s an industrial property in a location with massive future potential for a higher and better use.”

Runcorn is near Brisbane suburban activity centres including Upper Mt Gravatt, MacGregor and Sunnybank.

In the inner southern corridor, it is also near a number of arterial road networks including the M1, Gateway arterial and Logan Motorway.

“The connectivity of the site will only be enhanced with the Cross River Rail, with the train line running through the Runcorn station into Brisbane feeding in to the project, which is scheduled for completion in 2024,” the agents said.

The upgrade of this rail corridor will see significant travel times reduced allowing a quicker commute to the Brisbane CBD, they added.

The site (bottom centre) was marketed with a development scheme for a master planned mixed use community.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of