Buyers move on huge long-vacant North Geelong retail site

340-344 Melbourne Rd, North Geelong, has been listed for sale.

A landmark North Geelong retail site has become the centre of attention since being listed for sale.

The former Melbourne Rd home to Ray’s Outdoors has laid dormant for close to a decade after Super Retail Group acquired the Geelong-founded business, and subsequently closed the landmark store.

Now, a mix of potential owner-occupiers and developers are circling the property since it was listed for sale by expressions of interest, closing March 30.

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340-344 Melbourne Rd, North Geelong, has been listed for sale.

Gartland, Geelong director Michael De Stefano said price expectations of around $6m had been fairly well received in the market.

The property at 340-344 Melbourne Rd is described as the north’s most prominent corner site, with a 150m street frontage to Melbourne Rd and Collopy St and a 5600sq m land area.

But the existing buildings are enormous, presenting 3750sq m of floorspace, plus 1000sq m of mezzanine showroom and offices. It has a Commercial 2 zoning.

The owners have obtained an approved permit for an extensive refurbishment for use as a showroom and workshop, which Mr De Stefano said provides one option for potential buyers.

340-344 Melbourne Rd, North Geelong, has been listed for sale.

“That’s just one lever at people’s disposal, I guess to be able to walk in to something that will have a permit ready to go,” he said.

“It is really a mixed bag between owner-occupiers and developers and we are dealing with people that are outside the region to move businesses to Geelong too, which is really encouraging.

“It is a property that is getting coverage from myriad of different industries as well.

“Big slabs of land on the main street coming into Geelong don’t come up all that often. It’s a cracking opportunity for someone to secure something like that.”

340-344 Melbourne Rd, North Geelong, has been listed for sale.

Listed as the only site to build new showrooms on the Princes Highway in Geelong’s north, it has loading access, on-site parking and is surrounded by local and national occupants including Sydney Tools, Routleys Bakery, Super Cheap Auto, Beaumont Tiles, Kennards, Beacon Lighting and Tyrepower.

The property is also 500m from the Spirit of Tasmania terminal at Corio Quay.

The red livery remains years after the last tents, camp chairs or fishing gear were sold.

But the store was also famous for its outdoor rock wall feature with an angler in a dinghy and the mechanical gorilla inside.

Generic shots of the new BCF store and Ray's Outdoors for Geelong News

The angler statue pictured atop the rock wall feature pictured on the building in 2009.

Super Retail Group acquired Ray’s Outdoors in 2010, which led to a number of store closures as the business merged Ray’s with its own BCF brand.

Founder Raymond Frost sold the landmark site in 2015 for $4.5m to an entity linked to Peter Stevens Motorcycles, which on-sold it three years later for $4.4m.

The last Rays were rebranded as Macpac Adventure Hubs after Super Retail Group acquired the New Zealand chain.