1100% windfall for Chippendale warehouse owners

The Chippendale warehouse last sold for $1.05 million 20 years ago.

The owners of an advertising firm have made a cool $10 million after the sale of a Chippendale warehouse.

Tibet Group directors Brian and Margaret Witts bought the historic building at 14-16 Buckland St for $1,050,000 20 years ago. At this week’s auction it sold for $11.25 million — almost $4 million above expectations.

“I’d been quoting $7.5 million all the way through the campaign,” Sydney Sothebys International Realty’s Harriet France, who’d distributed 72 contracts, says.

Starting at $6 million, there were 44 bids during the packed auction room at the Intercontinental Hotel in Double Bay.

Chippendale warehouse Sydney

The warehouse’s stunning mezzanine level.

Rising in increments of $100,000 and even $500,000, the eventual buyer was the University of Technology, Sydney. The building looks set to be used as a site for students creating start-ups.

“A survey of UTS students and recent graduates showed almost 40% had either started their own business or were considering a start-up or entrepreneurial career path,” UTS Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Resources) Patrick Woods said.

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Advertised as being “ripe for renovation”, among the contenders were those who intended on converting the 420m space into one huge home, with a small commercial space.

The warehouse is part of the old Blackfriars Estate and was built for the shirt manufacturer W.A. Davidson in 1900.

Chippendale warehouse

The converted warehouse sold to the University of Technology, Sydney.

When the original timber floors were sanded back and polished in the 1990s, dozens of industrial sewing machine needles were discovered.

Over the years, it has served as a factory, the import headquarters of Alfa Romeo cars and a publishing house.

I’d been quoting $7.5 million all the way through the campaign

The building’s unusual curved shape on Buckland St follows the course of the old Blackwattle Creek, which once ran through William Chippendale’s original farm.

Chippendale warehouse Sydney UTS

The former warehouse at 14-16 Buckland St, Chippendale.

It’s one of the very few remaining warehouses from the period and it features Federation windows all the way along three sides. There are large arched doorways to its three street frontages.

Witt says he doesn’t wish to comment about his windfall.

Tibet counts Qantas in-flight duty free and Kawai pianos among their clients.

This article from The Daily Telegraph originally published as “Tibet advertising man makes $10 million in 20 years as Chippendale warehouse sells“.