Ex-Bunnings leased for second NSW COVID vaccine hub

Australian Unity last month paid $55m for a business park abutting Newcastle Airport.

Wesfarmers managed BWT Trust has secured the state government to a Lake Macquarie Bunnings store which has been vacant since last year.

SCA Property Group recently spent $87.5m on MarketPlace Raymond Terrace, north of Newcastle.

The four hectare site, 393 Pacific Highway, Belmont North, will by mid-July become the state’s second vaccine hub.

The property was mooted to become a Kaufland prior to that retailer quitting Australia last January.

For much of this year, it has been speculated IKEA might open there.

The suburb is about 20 kilometres south of Newcastle, where late last month Australian Unity paid $55m for a business park.

On Wednesday, we reported SCA Property Group paid $87.5m for the MarketPlace Raymond Terrace shopping centre, north of the township.

Second NSW vaccination hub

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian said the ex-Belmont North Bunnings will be able to administer 20,000 vaccinations a week (story continues below).

The fit out will take approximately six weeks.

Both Pfizer and AstraZeneca doses will be administered

The Hunter region site was chosen, in part, for its large car park; McDonald Jones Stadium and Newcastle Showgrounds were other potential locations.

The state’s only other hub, at Sydney Olympic Park, can vaccinate 35,000 people per week.

In April, BWT Trust won council approval to repurpose the hardware store with 3000 sqm of retail joining a 435 sqm food and beverage space – creating the speculation that IKEA would move in.

Bunnings, meanwhile, relocated to a business park at Bennetts Green – about four kilometres closer to Newcastle.

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Bunnings quit the Belmont North store late last year.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.