Yooralla puts Benalla Farm on the market

The property spreads 16.2 hectares.

Community and disabled services organisation Yooralla is selling a property near central Benalla.

The 16.19 hectare holding, Benalla Farm, was acquired by the not-for-profit group in 2011.

It has been used for activities and training people with disabilities. Other community organisations, including the Regent Honeyeaters Association, EdSpace, and the local Woodworkers Association have also used the farm at 167 Sydney Road while Yooralla has owned it.

The property is configured with four steel frame and clad structures, and infrastructure, including water, power and gas.

It also includes a large damn, wetlands area and two established orchard plantings – one fitted with about 200 olive trees (Benalla Farm was used by Yooralla’s gardening and maintenance crew and provided employment opportunities for people with disabilities).

Elders Wangaratta selling agent Michael Everard is representing Yooralla, the state’s largest non-profit disability services provider.

“The property is held under a Special Use zoning, but our enquiries indicate that the local council will consider a range of future uses for this holding which is on the edge of an expanding commercial activity zone.

“I think there is a real opportunity here with the existing buildings and infrastructure suited to a multiplicity of uses and the property may also appeal to a hobby farmer, social or other community or education or provider,” Mr Everard said.

The offering includes 200 olive trees.

“Yooralla established their Benalla Farm to achieve a broad range of employment, skills training, recreation and group activities and to encourage users to connect with nature, to meet other people and to participate in the local community,” the broker said. “I am reluctant to put a price expectation on the likely auction outcome except to say that Yooralla is ready to relinquish their ownership as they bring services together at the Community Hub site [on a nearby site on Mansfield Road].

“I welcome inspections as I am sure there is a buyer, perhaps a hobby famer, a business operator, or education or community group who will immediately recognise the capital that has been invested here together with the ideal main road location and land size”.

In 2015, Yooralla banked $23.8 million offloading its historic city headquarters at 244-248 Flinders Street to Malaysian hotel developers.

In 2001, the organisation, then known as the Yooralla Society of Victoria, sold an enormous and historic mansion it occupied in Flete Avenue, Armadale, for $7 million. The purchaser, businessman David Cramond, then offloaded the renovated home for $14 million in 2006, while banking another $2 million selling off a subdivided portion of the land.

Last year, Wagyu beef farmer David Blackmore paid $4.95 million for the 609-hectare East Mount Ida farm near Benalla.

Marc Pallisco

A freelance property writer and analyst, Marc is a co-founder of realestatesource.com.au.

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