Local buyer snares historic Geelong building

186 Moorabool St, Geelong  sold at auction to a local developer.
186 Moorabool St, Geelong sold at auction to a local developer.

Central Geelong property developer Bill Votsaris has added another address to his portfolio of city properties.

Votsaris secured the two-storey shop and warehouse building at 186 Moorabool St for $900,000 on Thursday after it was passed in at auction.

He competed for the property against the owner of a neighbouring building that sold last November for $1.12 million.

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Bidding opened at $800,000 and the property was passed in for $850,000.

The parties agreed to terms in discussions on the footpath after the auction.

One room at 186 Moorabool St, Geelong has camouflage from a previous tenant that ran gaming in the building.

McGrath, Geelong agent David Cortous had pinned hopes on a Sydney couple securing the building and embarking on a warehouse conversion. But they were dashed with the couple’s relocation plans abandoned.

Cortous said the couple had planned a residential conversion for the warehouse, converting the rear and upper levels behind the heritage-listed rear bluestone exterior to a home and garage facing Baylie Place, while retaining a ground floor shop fronting Moorabool St.

But the couple was among the small crowd watching the auction, he says.

The two-storey building started out as John Daniel’s Ironmongery warehouse in the 1860s, heritage documents show.

186 Moorabool St, Geelong.

The bluestone exterior to Baylie Place is a reminder of the industrial heritage often hidden in central Geelong.

Late 20th century aluminium cladding hides the bluestone facade from the street for its most recent uses, including an outlet selling computer products, and a Mikasa outlet.

The property occupies 262sqm of land, but by virtue of its two street frontages, it has about 560sqm of floorspace on two levels.

This article from the Geelong Advertiser originally appeared as “Bill Votsaris buys historic Geelong building in deal after auction”.