Prominent ex-McEwans for sale

The 1.4 hectare Thomastown site once accommodated McEwans.

A high-profile Melbourne showroom beside the Metropolitan Ring Road at Thomastown is for sale after 37 years.

The ex-McEwans at 85 High Street is expected to attract major occupiers such as large format retailers; the 3770 square metre warehouse is about the size of an average full-scale Coles and Woolworths.

Bunnings, which acquired McEwans in 1993, has an outlet near 85 High Street.

On a 1.4 hectare block connecting the suburb’s commercial and residential precincts, developers are also expected to look in.

Vinci Carbone’s Joseph Carbone and Frank Vinci said the property could also be considered for a mixed-use project, possibly with fast-food, petrol and a multi-unit business park.

Developers and old showrooms

In December, IKEA sold an industrial developer the nearby 7.5ha former Pipeworks Market, also exposed to the Metropolitan Ring Road.

Charter Hall also paid $70 million – $54m more than what the vendors outlaid in 2015 – for a vacant Bunnings south of Sydney to repurpose as a logistics investment.

Also that month EG spent $48.75m on a store with a short-lease to the same occupier.

In recent years, a series of former Masters outlets have been renovated as retail investments with a select number of anchor retailers (story continues below).

Thomastown is speculated will sell for c$6.5m reflecting a land rate of less than $500 per sqm.

Mr Carbone said amongst the reasons industrial developers eye bulky goods sites are size, zoning – and usually, a high-profile location.

Nearly 30 years without McEwans

Thomastown is about 15 kilometres north of the CBD, between two major activity centres (Broadmeadows and Epping).

The ex-McEwans site is walking distance to both Thomastown and Keon Park train stations.

The retailer was acquired by Bunnings in 1993 – a move which gave the buyer a hardware store in every state for the first time.

The Wesfarmers entity still trades at Thomastown, not far from 85 High St.

Its full-scale outlets are c8000 sqm.

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Marc Pallisco

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

Marc Pallisco