Geelong businessman and property investor Dean Montgomery is selling Warrnambool’s landmark ex-Fletcher Jones factory.
Nowadays an office, retail and warehouse investment, part of which is earmarked for a classic car museum, the heritage listed facility, along with two residential dwellings, cover 2.2 hectares and are expected to trade for over $5.5 million.
Mr Montgomery paid $1.3m in 2014 before refurbishing and refitting the commercial improvements for multiple tenancies.
The potential annual rental return is $350,000.
The agents are also marketing the site’s development upside, able to accommodate multi-level aged care, office, warehousing, healthcare or residential.
Covering 61-77 Flaxman Street and 16E and 18E Lava, also with frontage to Raglan Parade, a gateway to the nearby Warrnambool CBD, the 10,000 square metre factory was developed in 1948 on Pleasant Hill land Fletcher Jones purchased from the council the year earlier.
There is also a large garden – the Fletcher Jones Gardens – and park: the Fletcher Jones Gardens Reserve Playground.
These components were in the late 1940s a rubbish dump in a former quarry.
“While the property is…zoned Industrial 3, a hangover from its previous factory use, it now seems mixed use is the most likely path forward, depending on the vision of the successful purchaser,” Knight Frank’s Nathan Edgar, who is representing Mr Montgomery with Thomas Dodd and Wilsons’ Mark Wilson and Lucas Wilson, said.
“This property represents a slice of Warrnambool’s cultural and industrial history,” he added.
“The gardens, coupled with the ‘silver ball’ water tower, attracts a mix of clients, customers and tourists, with many also accessing the diverse seven day community market and active business precinct,” according to the executive (story continues below).
“The…site is just minutes from the Warrnambool CBD, a city serving as a regional centre for the surrounding areas and enjoying a strategic location along the major transport routes of the region.
“The commercial property market in Warrnambool is driven by several factors including the city’s growing population, its strategic location as a transport hub and its status as a regional economic centre.
“[It] has seen steady growth in recent years with increasing demand from both local and national businesses.
“This growth has been supported by several infrastructure and development projects in the region including the expansion of the Port of Warrnambool and the upgrade of the city’s infrastructure”.
Sale proceeds will be tipped into other initiatives;
In Geelong alone, Mr Montgomery owns the Old Geelong Gaol – acquired from the City of Geelong for $1.5m five years ago – and St Albans Stud.
In 2017, with Techne Development, he acquired the Dennys Lascelles woolstore in Brougham Street, initially with plans for a 12 level office, but now the subject of a $300m 18 storey mixed use complex with Gurner as development partner.
The businessman owns Glenormiston College at Terang too.
A car collector as well, he is also behind the motor museum earmarked to take up space at the Fletcher Jones building – now, potentially, as a tenant.
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