Geelong silos earn huge payday as developers circle

Mercer St silos on the market

The silos off Mercer St sold for $1.25 million at auction. Picture: Alan Barber

A Melbourne developer has paid a $450,000 premium to secure the concrete silos off Mercer St in central Geelong at an auction on Thursday.

The 83-year old structure sold for $1.25 million at the online auction, where nine groups had registered to bid.

But fierce competition between three parties ensured the result smashed the $800,000 price hopes for the potential development site.

RELATED: Clifftop house sets Surf Coast price record

Surprise auction adds $75K to price of East Geelong home

Future use for Geelong cement works site revealed

The property, at 2 Roy St, comprises six 4.5m diameter tubular silos and a service pod in the main structure, plus a studio in a separate building and 24 spaces in a neighbouring car park.

Mercer St silos on the market

Hodges, Geelong West agent Marcus Falconer auctioned the property on Thursday. Picture: Alan Barber

Hodges, Geelong West agent Marcus Falconer said a Preston developer had secured the property.

Other developers were from Melbourne, Geelong and abroad who had logged into the Auction Now platform, he said.

Bidding opened at $720,000 and reached $800,000 on the fourth bid.

But it wasn’t until the price hit $1 million that the competition lifted to a crescendo, with buyers trading $100,000 bids to secure the property.

Mercer St silos on the market

The Mercer St silos carry an Activity Centre Zoning and a 60m preferred building height on the draft Central Geelong Framework Plan. Picture: Alan Barber

“No one formalised an offer before. You knew there was some interest but everyone kept their cards pretty close to their chest,” Mr Falconer said.

“It will be an exciting opportunity,” Mr Falconer said.

“I think there is multiple uses for it.

“It just needs the right person with the right skills set to put an investment into it and make a really positive change,” he said.

The silos are in a precinct earmarked for high-rise development that’s close to Geelong’s waterfront.

The structure could be redevelopment from the ground up, or into eight luxury apartments in a boutique redevelopment, or a more intensive plan.

The building was previously mooted for a sustainable makeover, receiving a now lapsed permit for 40 one-bedroom apartments.

The 32m structure also has an existing permit for a digital advertising sign to be located at the top of the building, replacing the existing fixed sign.

The old silos in Mercer St have sold at auction in Geelong.

It’s nine storeys tall, including the ground floor, with the potential to use the southern pod as a lift and stairwell to access each floor, Mr Falconer said.

“You’re buying something where the height and form is already there,” Mr Falconer said. “Everything is obviously subject to council approval, but you don’t go too far wrong when you secure a property that is in the CBD, 150m to Geelong station, 250m approximately to the Geelong waterfront and you’ve got everything you desire on your doorstep.”