The Flinkiers site, and 15 hectares of riverfront land around it known as the “Joseph Street precinct”, was recently rezoned from Industrial to Priority Development, a flexible “mixed use” zoning, which will allow residential development in the Footscray pocket at last.
Train commuters en route to the CBD will pass through the collection of ramshackle warehouses that is the Joseph Street Precinct, between Footscray and South Kensington stations.
Sources at Thursday’s auction said the purchaser was joined by prominent property investor and shopping centre owner Maurice Alter, now about 84 years old. Mr Alter did not return calls to discuss any involvement.
The Flinkiers sale was always expected to be a litmus test to “post-zoning” residential land values in the Joseph Street area. The sale price equates to a land rate per square metre of $987.
Earlier this month, private developers paid $16 million for the Forges buildings in Nichsolson Street, spread over an acre in central Footscray. That site is expected to be developed into a new shopping centre with high rise apartments.