Milawa property with multi-income potential listed for sale for $1.65m

The Milawa Providore and Redbank Cellar Door are the latest businesses to call the property home during its 161-year history. Picture:
The Milawa Providore and Redbank Cellar Door are the latest businesses to call the property home during its 161-year history. Picture:

A historical property linked to notorious bushranger Ned Kelly has come to the market for the second time in two years.

The property in Milawa, which is around 257kms north-east of Melbourne, started life as the Old Emu Inn in 1861, before being transformed into a courthouse and public hall in 1880.

It later served as a maternity unit and community roller skating rink and local legend has it that it also provided a hiding place for Ned Kelly.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the well-known bushranger was on the run from the law when he found refuge in the cellars of the then Inn.

Ned Kelly's cell at the Redbank Cellar Door & Milawa Providore, Tea Rooms,

The former jailhouse, set to have housed Ned Kelly, has been transformed into a private dining room. Picture:

Legend has it Kelly was later apprehended and housed in one of the cells of the police station, set adjacent to the Inn, while awaiting trial.

Today, the property 1597 Snow Road is home to the Milawa Providore, the Redbank Cellar Door and a newly established bed and breakfast and tea room.

Owner Michelle Giordano Ross, said the property’s rich history had made the business an integral part of the community for the past 161 years.

Inside the shop and tasting area at Redbank Cellar Door & Milawa Providore, Tea Rooms,

The Redbank Cellar Door has helped attract a new set of visitors to the town. Picture:

Ms Giordano Ross purchased the property in 2020 for $600,000, according to property records, but is now selling the multi-income business after an extensive renovation for $1.65 million.

“What attracted me was the history, the position and the bones of the building as well as the different incarnations the place has had over the years,” she said.

“It was the first public building in Milawa and is also home to the first windmill of the town.

“There’s so much history there and in fact, during the renovations, in what would have been the old barn and which was once the roller skating rink, we found a piece of aluminium one of the farmers had written on when World War II broke out.”

Potential galore

Despite the site’s richness in local history, selling agent Jenny Chellew said the property was not heritage listed.

This, she said, allowed for future updates if desired, with the property sold as a walk-in, walk-out opportunity.

“So I think this property will speak to a lot of people as it has personality plus and is also a freehold,” she said.

“It means the next owner won’t be answerable to anyone, unlike many pubs, plus the business is already well established.”

Guest accommodation at Redbank Cellar Door & Milawa Providore, Tea Rooms,

The property has been renovated and it now offers bed and breakfast accommodation. Picture:

The sale includes a new commercial kitchen, a renovated barn for hosting weddings, and a new wood fire pizza oven enclosure.

The original jailhouse has also been converted into a private dining room.

Ms Chellew said she expected to field interest for the property from both local and interstate buyers.

“This region is a massive tourism attraction and post Covid, this whole area has gone off,” she said.

“Milawa is a small town but it’s a gateway to Mount Hotham and King Valley, which of course is home to Brown Brothers winery.”

Considering a tree change? Do your research

While tree changes have proven popular on the back of COVID-19, PropTack Economist Anne Flaherty said she urged buyers to do their research before swapping city lights for greener pastures.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, regional Australia grew by 11% between 2011 and 2021, with an additional 832,000 residents said to have made the move.

The highest growth was recorded in Wollert and Mickleham – Yuroke, both located in Melbourne’s outer north, and Schofields – East in Sydney’s outer north-west.

Barn at the Redbank Cellar Door & Milawa Providore, Tea Rooms,

The Barn, now with the addition of a 124 sqm marquee, has become a charming wedding and events venue. Picture:

The Wangaratta local government area, in which Milawa is located, also proved popular, recording a population increase of 9.3%.

“The regions that we’re really seeing outperform are those that are within two hours of capital cities,” Ms Flaherty said.

“So from an investors perspective, look at areas that have seen pretty strong population growth and aren’t too far from a capital city as that will impact the number of people that will come and visit a venue.”

Ms Flaherty said properties with an “edge” including historic properties, boutique accommodation venues and even wineries “are often of more interest to investors as they will attract patrons”.

“That said, one of the side effects of a lot of people moving to regional areas has been that the demand for commercial real estate has likewise really increased, which in turn has seen an increase in [the value] of those assets,” she said.

“As a result, we’re seeing more regional properties on the market as a lot of current owners are realising that now is a good time to and we’re seeing those assets sell very quickly.”