Ford to sell off former factories, including Geelong

Ford’s historic Geelong factory.
Ford’s historic Geelong factory.

Ford Australia is seeking buyer interest for three former manufacturing sites in Victoria, which are expected to fetch more than $75 million all up.

The three-piece — comprising two Geelong sites on the Princes Highway and Seabeach Parade and a property on the Hume Highway in Campbellfield — sprawls over 85ha in total and contains more than 26.5ha of existing buildings.

Among them is the Princes Highway site’s distinctive red brick factory, which has a heritage-protected facade.

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Ford’s announcement of an expressions of interest campaign to sell the portfolio comes almost two years after the car manufacturer shut its Victorian plants.

Ford Australia president and chief executive Kay Hart says the sale campaign forms “part of our broader business transformation plan” and follows a series of studies that assessed the best use of the company’s assets.

CBRE selling agent Dean Hunt — who has the listing with Chris O’Brien and Alex Moffatt — says there is no official asking price for the sites, which could be sold together or separately.

Ford Geelong

Ford closed its Victorian plants about two years ago. Picture: Glenn Ferguson.

But industry sources suggest the trio could be worth more than $75 million.

The properties are expected to attract interest from local and offshore buyers, with the likely outcome for them to continue to be used as industrial or commercial sites or, subject to approvals, for retail purposes.

“We’re positioning the site with the potential for reuse of existing buildings, but we’re also positioning it for a change in use to some degree,” Hunt says.

He says the heritage listing of the Princes Highway factory is seen as “a major benefit”.

“The property suits a wide scope of development outcomes, given its unique heritage characteristics,” Hunt says.

The expressions of interest campaign will kick off next month and close on October 31.

This article from the Herald Sun originally appeared as “Ford Australia’s Geelong, Campbellfield sites tipped to fetch $75 million”.