Melbourne servos among closures after major Caltex selloff

Caltex Brunswick East is one of seven Melbourne petrol stations sold to developers.
Caltex Brunswick East is one of seven Melbourne petrol stations sold to developers.

Six Victorian petrol stations have moved a step closer to shutting their bowsers after a mass sell off by Caltex — and more closures will be announced next year.

The petrol company, which is currently facing a multi-billion dollar buyout from Canadian fuel giant Alimentation Couche-Tard, is expected to close bowsers from Pascoe Vale to Frankston early next year as it prepares to remediate the sites for development.

The process involves underground petrol tanks being removed and soil being replaced, which usually takes 12 to 24 months.

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The Victorian petrol stations expected to close are in Forest Hill, Brunswick East, Clayton, Frankston, Carnegie and Pascoe Vale.

The Frankston service station is opposite the beach.

A total of 25 Caltex sites were sold nationwide for a combined $136 million, with five unnamed developers buying the various sites, according to CBRE’s Mark Wizel.

“The fact that the 25 have sold so quickly … and to local developers, shows there’s an underlying demand,” Wizel says.

“And that they (developers) believe the drivers in the development market and construction industry are very positive.”

It is understood property firm Oliver Hume was involved with some of the Victorian purchases, however contract terms barred it from commenting on any acquisitions.

Caltex chief development officer David Bridger said the sales had left it “very confident” about plans to sell off a further 25 petrol stations around the country early next year.

Caltex Clayton will also shut off its petrol pumps in the first half of 2020.

“These sites had been identified as having a higher and better non-fuel related use and obviously the market is in accord with that rationale,” Bridger says.

Caltex confirmed while none of the recently sold sites would close this year, there would be more Victorian petrol stations sold off in the second stage of sales next year.

Previous estimates suggest the sites, including one opposite the beach in Frankston, could mostly be redeveloped into apartment developments with between 40 and 80 residences in them.

This article from The Herald Sun originally appeared as “Melbourne petrol stations to close in 2020 after huge Caltex sell off”.