RSPCA selling SA properties to help fund its new home

The RSPCA South Australia is selling its Adelaide headquarters and two other properties. Picture:
The RSPCA South Australia is selling its Adelaide headquarters and two other properties. Picture:

The RSPCA is selling its South Australian headquarters and two other Adelaide properties to help raise funds for its new $26 million animal care campus, which will include the state’s first around-the-clock wildlife hospital.

The RSPCA plans to lease back its Adelaide headquarters and animal shelter for two years while the animal care charity’s new home is built.

Up for sale are the headquarters in the inner-eastern suburb of Stepney, the animal shelter site in the industrial suburb of Lonsdale and a large vacant lot opposite the shelter that is used for livestock in the RSPCA’s care.

The RSPCA animal shelter in Adelaide's Lonsdale

The sale of the three properties, including the site of the state’s largest animal shelter, will help fund the RSPCA’s new $26 million animal care campus. Picture:

RSPCA South Australia CEO Paul Stevenson said the listing of the three properties marked an important milestone towards raising the $26 million needed to build the new animal care campus.

“We’re the last state to upgrade its RSPCA facilities,” Mr Stevenson said.

“This new campus will lift us to the same standards of animal accommodation as they have interstate, with the added bonus of a much-needed wildlife hospital.”

Kennels at the RSPCA's Adelaide shelter

The existing shelter in located within an industrial zone. Picture:

Mr Stevenson said the existing Lonsdale shelter is hidden away down the side road within an industrial zone.

“Right now, at our existing Lonsdale shelter, the combination of sub-standard facilities and an industrial zone location that’s not on any public transport route make the provision of quality care a daily struggle for staff and volunteers.

“Our vet team currently operates in the cramped rooms of a small brick house, in winter some of our animal enclosures flood and in summer it’s a battle to keep our dogs cool.

“With increasing numbers of animals coming into our care, we’ve had to add transportable buildings around the site – just to ensure everyone, animals and humans, has shelter.”

While the industrial zone is not ideal for animals, all three RSPCA properties are expected to attract strong interest from buyers including those looking at the development potential.

Colliers agents Paul Tierney, Alistair Mackie, Jordan Schmidt and Rhys Newman are managing the expressions of interest campaign for the RSPCA.

Mr Tierney said the portfolio offers local and national investors/developers and owner occupiers the opportunity to acquire rare offerings in two distinct markets.

“The two Lonsdale assets we believe will attract strong interest from a wide range of buyers, the scale of the offerings provide development options immediately as well as a future development opportunity with holding income provided by the leaseback,” he said.

Overhead view of the two RSPCA properties in Adelaide's industrial suburb of Lonsdale

The two Lonsdale properties are expected to attract strong interest from a range of buyers. Picture:

Mr Mackie said the property at 16 Nelson Street in Stepney will also appeal to a wide range of buyers including future owner occupiers, adjacent or nearby businesses, developers and speculative investors.

“The site provides fantastic exposure to Nelson Street together with rear access and frontage to Louis Street,” he said.

“Purchasers can buy now, enjoy the income and plan for the future with confidence.”

The lobby of the RSPCA's South Australian headquarters in Adelaide

The RSPCA’s headquarters in the inner suburb of Stepney is also expected to appeal to a range of buyers. Picture:

The Colliers agents said the triple net leaseback to the RSPCA provides buyers with a guaranteed and secure income stream for a minimum of two years, allowing for the next phase of the development to be planned for the Nelson Street and 25 Meyer Road properties.

The 1604sqm Stepney site has a 985sqm building area, while 25 Meyer Road is a large 38,450sqm site that has offices, warehouse and storage buildings covering 2292sqm.

Immediate access is available for Lot 77 Meyer Road in Lonsdale, a large vacant industrial allotment of 10,470sqm.

The proceeds from the sale of the properties will go towards the development of the RSPCA’s new animal care campus on a seven-hectare site within the community precinct of the Glenthorne National Park-Itya­maiitpinna Yarta at O’Halloran Hill in Adelaide’s south.

The land has been provided by the South Australian government on a 70-year peppercorn lease.

The site will include the state’s first 24/7 wildlife hospital, in line with a recommendation from the South Australian Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Taskforce set up in the aftermath of the 2019-20 bushfires.

One of the buildings on the large site that houses the RSPCA's animal shelter

Increasing numbers of animals have been coming into the RSPCA’s care. Picture:

As it unveiled the final plans for the site and its biggest capital fundraising campaign in its 147-year history on Wednesday, the RSPCA SA said it is $3 million shy of the $26 million needed to build the new campus.

Mr Stevenson said the RSPCA took in 10,740 animals in the past 12 months, 1697 more than the previous year, adding that nine out of every 10 animals found new homes.

Construction of the new facility is expected to begin in October with the opening scheduled for early 2024.