Wyndham council buys, lists historic Werribee buildings

CVA’s Charles Cini said the Bridge Hotel can accommodate about 500 patrons.

Wyndham City Council has bought a historic Werribee theatre for community use and listed for sale a pub investment around the corner.

The Picture Palais (outlined) was offloaded by the Carter family.

In a busy month, the local government agreed to pay $4.4 million for the c1928 Picture Palais at 15-19 Station Place, in the heart of the suburb’s commercial precinct, diagonally adjacent to the train station.

The two storey Station Place building was bought for community use.

Leased to Cash Converters, the result reflects a bullish four per cent yield.

The Carter family, responsible for several local buildings in the area since 1879 including Villa Franca and Roland Carter House, was the seller.

The building contains 1000 square metres over two levels.

The site, spreading 813 sqm, is zoned Activity Centre.

“Wyndham City ultimately thought it would be fantastic for the area and the community to have this slice of history in council’s hands,” Fitzroys’ Chris Kombi, who marketed the property with Ervin Niyaz, said.

“The Picture Palais played a huge role in the cultural life of Werribee as it transformed from a rural township into a major suburb and commercial centre at Melbourne’s south west,” he added.

“We received multiple offers during the…expressions of interest campaign with interest coming from a range of investors,” according to the executive.

“The interest…clearly reflected that Werribee is now the commercial and cultural centre of Wyndham, having developed a retail, office and lifestyle offering that draws and services residents, workers and students locally and from the surrounding suburbs”.

Bridge Hotel listed

Meanwhile council this month listed for sale the Bridge Hotel, built in 1926 on the site of the 19th century bluestone Camp Hotel (story continues below).

It bought the property from long time owner Barry Main for $5.4m in 2016; at c4000 sqm it was then the biggest privately owned block in the suburb.

Part of the western car park has since been carved off for public use.

Council also secured MoL Pub Group to a 20 year lease with four per cent annual rent rises, turnover rent and capital rent.

With options the operator, also behind venues in Fitzroy’s Marquis of Lorne, Prahran’s Mount Erica and Union House in Richmond, can stay until 2060.

According to CVA’s Charles Cini, who sold the Bridge Hotel at 197-199 Watton St to council, extensions were undertaken in the 1970s and about 30 years ago too.

With 788 sqm, there’s a large alfresco area seating up to 400 patrons, two dining rooms and beer gardens, a function room and bar.

The 1575 sqm Activity Centre zoned site also fronts Synnot St.

More than $5m is expected, according to sources.

Late last year council sold 8 Synnot St, a 388 sqm plot also zoned Activity Centre, for $875,000, via P Di Natale Real Estate’s Charles Cipri.

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Marc Pallisco

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