Uniting Church sells kindergarten, tennis courts

Ys Housing has purchased 34 George Street, Reservoir.

The Uniting Church has sold two more Melbourne assets – one for less than the highest offer.

In the biggest deal, the church is banking $3.3 million for the recently closed Kookaburra United Kindergarten, at 34 George Street, Reservoir.

The Reservoir block (outlined), 11 kilometres north of the CBD.

The 2998 square metre site – with over 40 metres of road frontage, near Reservoir Junction, a local activity centre with a recently upgraded train station, was marketed for its potential to make way for a major townhouse project – possibly incorporating a red brick church which is heritage protected, on its south west tip.

The campaign also targeted other religious organisations and essential service groups, including childcare centre operators.

The tennis courts at the south east corner of Rosslyn Street and Eckersley Court.

In the end, another not-for-profit – affordable housing group, Ys Housing, was the buyer.

Burgess Rawson’s David Napoleone, Albert Chedid and Matthew Wright said the property – “a gateway to Melbourne’s rapidly expanding northern corridor” – had never been put to market.

Eleven offers came in following an expressions of interest campaign which closed five weeks ago.

Academy buys tennis courts

A second property Uniting listed earlier this year – three clay tennis courts, in Blackburn South – sold for $2.471m – which was not the highest offer at the end of the campaign.

The church decided to discount the property for a local tennis academy.

Eight other offers came in for the holding which would likely have sold to a townhouse developer, but could also have attracted an essential services related investor or operator; the 1748 sqm site at 12-14 Rosslyn St is a block from Canterbury Rd and Blackburn Hospital (story continues below).

The Uniting Church sold 7-15 Rossmoyne Street, Thornbury, last year.

It is also near the corner of Blackburn Rd.

The same agents with Barry Plant Whitehorse’s Michael Steenhuis and St John Cranna brokered the deal.

The Montmorency site (outlined) sold for $2.168 million.

“The buyer…will retain the tennis court and use the property as designed for years to come,” Mr Napoleone said.

“The continued use of the site was the attraction for the Uniting Church in selecting their buyer,” he added.

This property had also never been previously for public sale, according to the executive; it had been home to Eckersley Tennis Club for 70 years.

The disposals come nine months since Uniting sold a historic place of worship in Thornbury – coincidentally to the Presbyterian Church it acquired the property from 30 years earlier.

Eighteen months ago, meanwhile, Uniting divested an ex-kindergarten built into a church at Montmorency; held by the group for 40 years, it traded to an occupier too – a community group – despite being offered permit-ready for a 63-place childcare centre.

In 2020, the church sold a former kindergarten at Prahran, fronting Orrong Park.

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Marc Pallisco

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