Chinese Church of Christ luring investors and owner occupiers
A high-rise development or a unique residential conversion could take the place of a local church in Carlton with plenty of untapped potential.
The Chinese Church of Christ at 148-150 Queensberry Street is being offered for the first time in more than a century.
Savills Melbourne’s Clinton Baxter said the listing was “the most popular property” his office had put to market this year.
The freehold offers a prime location between the University of Melbourne and RMIT University, with no heritage overlay. It’s also under a flexible mixed used zone, which would allow a buyer to refurbish the single-storey church or completely redevelop the land into an office, accommodation or retail space.
“It’s been attracting both owner-occupiers who want to repurpose the existing building and investors for development,” Mr Baxter said.
“It’s been owned by the Churches of Christ and utilised as a church for over 100 years. It’s still a practising church, but they will be relocating once the property has sold,” Mr Baxter said.
“We are offering a 12-month settlement to the buyer in order to give the church some time to find a new site.”
“This pocket of Carlton is right on the doorstep of the CBD and the big boom in the area has been with student accommodation. Despite the pandemic, we know people are still looking into developments to get ready for when international students do return.”
The decision to sell was a result of the 362sq m block’s “rising land value”.
“Small churches are faced with a dilemma at the moment, where properties like this are perhaps being a little under-utilised,” Mr Baxter noted.
“With the rising land value, a small church is sitting on a very expensive parcel of land and they could use that money to serve their community in a different way.”
The agency is expecting bids of “at least $4m” at the auction on June 29.
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