Isle of Wight site in Cowes for sale again

Cowes Jetty, opposite the Isle of Wight site.

Postscript: this property has now sold. Read that story here.

Aged care veteran John Matthies is selling the prominent Phillip Island site which for decades accommodated the Isle of Wight hotel.

The 8625 square metre Cowes parcel is being marketed in one line with a guide of $10.8 million.

It is also being offered as up to five lots – two of them waterfront, the biggest measuring an acre.

The Isle of Wight hotel, pictured in 2010, was destroyed by fire in May that year – a month after a permit was issued to replace it with a nine storey hotel.

In 2010 – a month before the historic pub was destroyed by fire – the land was approved for a resort with nine-level hotel.

That permit was nearly expired in 2014 when receivers unsuccessfully tried to sell what was then a tract.

Mr Matthies, director of Australian Aged Care Group, paid less than $5m a couple of years later with plans for a vertical aged care complex.

No development application however was ever lodged.

In 2013 the executive replaced Cowes’ former Banfields Cinema at 192 Thompson Avenue with a low-rise, high-end facility (story continues below).

Phillip Island’s last major commercial deal took place 10 months ago when SCA Property Group sold a Woolworths-backed shopping centre in the suburb for $21.5m or 9.7 per cent over the June 30, 2019, book value.

Phillip Island’s best building blocks: agents

The Isle of Wight building blocks, 9-10 The Esplanade and 2-8 Bass Avenue, are considered Phillip Island’s best – opposite Cowes Pier, sloping upward with north facing water views.

Castran’s John Castran and Alex Scott’s Greg Price are anticipating interest from townhouse and apartment builders, hoteliers and other nursing home accommodation providers.

The asking price would reflect a land rate per sqm of nearly $1250.

Phillip Island is a popular holiday hamlet about a two hour drive south east of Melbourne’s CBD. At the 2016 Census the permanent population was about 10,400 – up from c7100 in 2001.

In September, its residential record price was set when Trenavin Park, on a 33.8 hectare clifftop site in Ventnor, sold for more than $8m – almost twice what it was purchased for, unrenovated, in 2008.

Ten months ago the Grollo family offloaded Cape Woolamai’s historic Woolamai House for $3.2m after subdividing and selling down much of the yard for a housing estate.

The Cowes site is being offered in one line for c$10.8 million – or in five parts, two of which front the water.
Any development on the elevated site would enjoy unobstructed water views from the ground floor.
The site has sat vacant for 10 years.
John Matthies was expected to develop a vertical aged care complex after agreeing to buy the Cowes block about four years ago. Now it could sell to a hotel, apartment or townhouse builder.

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Marc Pallisco

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