Massive Op Shop Centre Planned For Ford Factory, Geelong

Market operator Ian Ballis has paid $7.1million for the 13.4hectare former Ford site, or less than half the price paid by the vendor, Queensland-based City Pacific, two years ago.

Mr Ballis’ proposal is to incorporate the 2.4hectare Ford factory building into a "one-stop shop" for second-hand clothes, antiques, furniture – and almost everything else considered too good to throw out, or worth restoring.

He said the development would be the largest second-hand market in Australia, and would capitalise on the site’s huge 750-metre frontage to Melbourne Road – a thoroughfare between Melbourne and Geelong.

Op shop operators, many of which are charity-based organisations, will be able to use the facility as a storage and distribution centre, while also having a portal for attracting customers.

Mr Ballis said 60,000 cars a day passed the site on the busiest arterial road in Geelong.

Fund manager City Pacific is believed to have paid about $18million for the Ford factory site about two years ago.

City Pacific paid this price following a failed attempt by the previous owner, Geelong business identity Frank Costa, to develop the site into HomeTown, a $100 million, 41,000-square-metre homemaker centre.

That project flopped after the State Government refused to rezone the land from industrial use. Mr Ballis’ proposal will not require a rezoning.

A spokesman for City Pacific declined to comment on any part of the deal when contacted by Capital Gain.

CB Richard Ellis is believed to have marketed the property.

Mr Ballis owns other second-hand goods centres, including markets in Warrnambool, Daylesford, Colac, Camperdown and Newcomb.

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Marc Pallisco

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