Stunning bluestone facade a hidden bonus at 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.

Is it possible this historic Geelong building is back to front, because its rear face is one of its most endearing features?

The two-storey commercial-industrial building started out as John Daniel’s Ironmongery warehouse in the 1860s.

Today, the bluestone frontage to Baylie Place is a reminder of the industrial heritage often hidden in central Geelong.

Commercial Insights: Subscribe to receive the latest news and updates

The former Mikasa outlet at 186 Moorabool St, which has been hidden behind late 20th century aluminium cladding, has been listed for auction on May 30.

186 Moorabool St, Geelong is going to auction on May 30.

The front of 186 Moorabool St Geelong isn’t quite as pretty as the rear.

McGrath, Geelong agent David Cortous has set price hopes at $950,000 to $1.045 million.

While the frontage to Moorabool St is the most evident future use, Cortous says its history as a big warehouse with exposed timber beams could dictate buyers future plans.

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

186 Moorabool St, Geelong is going to auction on May 30. The camouflage paint is from a previous tenant that ran gaming in the building.

“To be honest, I’ve got somebody looking at it for residential use,” Cortous says.

“Using the back entrance as the main facade, decking out the full top floor as a residence with a six-car garage at the bottom.”

The Moorabool St frontage would remain a small shopfront.

“There’s a lot more inner city living, especially around the Little Ryrie St area,” he says.

186 Moorabool St, Geelong, goes to auction on May 30.

“From Yarra St, all that part of Little Ryrie St to Moorabool St is residential.”

Cortous says the famous warehouse conversion of the former James Strong Boot Factory, that features the chimney in Baylie Place North, provides an example for buyers to convert this property.

“It’s quite a big building, because it’s two storey all they way through,” he says.

The timber and stone elements warrant an A-listing from the Heritage Council, which lauds delicate timber detailing often absent from the otherwise austere warehouse buildings.

Baylie Place Geelong

Inside Baylie Place, Geelong.

“This store also demonstrates the use of both basalt walls and local sandstone dressing. It retains the broad wagon archway, upper level loading doors, gantry and arched lower openings.”

The property goes to auction on May 30 at 11am.

This article from the Geelong Advertiser originally appeared as “Heritage-listed warehouse primed for a residential apartment conversion”.