Australia’s most viewed property sells for $2.41m
It might be vacant, boarded up and covered in graffiti, but this rundown old church in inner-city Melbourne has attracted more than its share of attention among commercial property buyers.
The heritage-listed former Collingwood Gospel Church was the most viewed property on realcommercial.com.au in recent weeks, with the listing attracting thousands upon thousands of views online.
But for those who looked without leaping, it’s now too late, with the property at 10 Mater St selling for just under $2.41 million.
Commercial Insights: Subscribe to receive the latest news and updates
Initially offered for sale at auction on Friday, despite the incredible interest the church couldn’t find a buyer and passed in on a vendor bid of $2.3 million. But a local builder/developer swooped shortly after auction, securing the building and site.
Selling agent Simon Verduci, from Nelson Alexander, says queries about whether the heritage listing would restrict the site’s potential uses may have scared away some buyers.
“It’s a great site, but a very tricky site, in that it was former church hall and there was a lot of doubt regarding the heritage constraints,” he says.
“A lot of people were put off by the heritage implications of what they could and couldn’t do, and people didn’t know what they would be able to do.”
“You could convert it to a residence, you could convert it to a commercial property, you could convert it to hospital. It has a lot of potential uses but you would have to go through all the planning in order to get that use approved and get it to a stage where you could occupy.”
Zoned ‘Commercial 1’, the church occupies 258sqm of the 366sqm site on a prime corner in one of Melbourne’s development boomtowns.
The previous owner purchased the church with vacant possession earlier this decade but has sat on it ever since.
But Verduci says the latest buyer had no such concerns, and is currently considering what to do with the property.
“He was considering trying to turn it into a house, but he doesn’t know what he’ll do yet – redevelop it or renovate it into a house. At this stage he’s bought it not really knowing what he’s going to do.”
Verduci says the vendor was elated with the outcome.
“It was certainly a very well received property and it was a great result at the end of the day.”