Developers to make headlines at former Geelong Addy HQ

The Geelong Advertiser office at 191 Ryrie St, Geelong, has been sold.

Serviced apartments, student accommodation and offices are some of the proposals from potential buyers circling the former headquarters of the Geelong Advertiser.

The 191 Ryrie St development site officially hits the market today, though it’s been no secret to local circles that the Addy’s parent company News Corp Australia has been considering its future use for some years.

Corporate Property Advisors principal John Date is seeking formal offers by April 17.

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Local commercial real estate agents are participating in the campaign by bringing potential buyers to the table.

The Geelong Advertiser office at 191 Ryrie St, Geelong, has been listed for sale.

Price hopes are above $4 million for the 1340sq m site, which presently has about 3000sqm of lettable space.

Date says potential suiters, including developers, key city property stakeholders and a large medical group, have come forward before the campaign launched.

“There’s four different developers all keen to chat because the cost of the potential property is not very expensive,” he says.

“It’s so close to the hospital precinct where apartments have come back into favour.

“We’ve already had one very large medical group talking to us about building something for themselves and putting serviced apartments on top.”

A buyer is likely to seek a short-term office tenant for the Ryrie St building while they plan their vision.

Date says the planning scheme caps the building height at 32 metres on Ryrie St, which would allow for 10 to 11 storeys with a northerly aspect over the bay. But the council could be open to a rise to 40 metres, the maximum height on Yarra St, he says

“We’re not focused on any particular market because we’ve had many people approach us with all different concepts. But the main thrust appears to be back on apartments,” he says.

Another potential buyer identified a need for student accommodation, Date says.

Maxwell Collins, Geelong agent Don Hough says buyers waiting in the wings for several years could seek a short-term office tenancy while they planned their vision.

Planning permission could take two years.

The site has rear access from Banks Place.

“You could put down a couple of levels of car parks in the basement and the height is an attractive position going forward,” he says.

“Up to 10 storeys high, it’s an ideal space because of its location which is north facing. It’s near the medical precinct, the waterfront and the central activities area, which makes it a very attractive property,” Hough says.

Hough says Geelong is the flavour of the month in the wake of the agencies like WorkSafe and NDIS moving to the city, leading to an explosion of office and apartment developments.

“Confidence in the Geelong market is there,” he says.

“For the first time in 10 to 12 years you’ve got developers committing to buy something before there’s an end use identified.”

The office was home to the Addy for 59 years before staff moved to 126 Little Malop St this year.