A prime Auburn Street site that once turned out boots for Goulburn will be transformed into a retail tenancy under plans before the council.
Two double-storey townhouses, capitalising on the trend toward shop-top housing in the CBD, are also proposed at the rear of the former Lee and Thomas building at 414 Auburn Street.
Architect Tim Lee (no relation) has lodged plans on behalf of the new owner to adaptively re-use the 101-year-old structure that the auto-electrical firm shifted from in 2017. The work is valued at $900,000.
Mr Lee said the external building envelope wouldn’t change and original features such as timber trusses would be retained, brickwork exposed and cleaned-up, the structure re-roofed, facade add-ons removed and the frontage given decorative treatment.
“The intent is to that the form stays largely as is but is given a new lease of life,” Mr Lee said.
“It’s about celebrating the joy of the building...It has a fantastic history.”
The structure was built in 1917 by boot manufacturer Gillespie and Co, which had a tannery on the Wollondilly River and a housing subdivision nearby to provide for its workers. After the company folded in 1926, the building was used by a furniture manufacturer, then a woolstore before Lee and Thomas set up in 1914.
But in 2017, with Lee and Thomas’s move to South Goulburn, a local company, Dwin Pty Ltd, purchased the site. A tenant has not yet been decided for the retail component.
The sale was one of 73 commercial transactions in Goulburn Mulwaree that year, according to the NSW Valuer General’s Office. Figures released this week revealed there were 58 commercial sales in 2018, 12 of these mainly in Auburn Street.
Two of these sales were for more than $1.3 million. The Valuer General found that commercial land values increased moderately from five to six per cent between 2017 and 2018. It refers to the value of the land only and not the structures.
But areas on the CBD’s periphery saw value increases of between three and 11pc.
“Commercially zoned land improved with a residential use, including both single dwellings and/or unit sites, had the largest increase in this zone throughout 2018, showing an increase of over 30pc on average,” the report stated.
Mr Lee said Goulburn was seeing higher demand for different types of living, away from the traditional four-bedroom home in a residential estate.
“We’re looking to provide something more in line with inner city living,” he said.
While Goulburn is holding steady, Marulan is surging on the commercial front with a 43pc rise in unimproved land values to an average of $200,000 in 2018. Described as the fastest growing town in Goulburn Mulwaree, Marulan also has plans for a $4 million commercial hub with an IGA supermarket on the drawing board.
While a local is competing that project, the Valuer General says out-of-towners are influencing the trend.
“Many investors are responding to speculation for new developments in Marulan including the supermarket and railway line,” the report stated.
Residential land values surge
It’s also translating to the residential sector. Figures show an average increase in values of 20pc in Marulan, which the report attributes to relative affordability over Sydney and the Southern Highlands.
This “very strong increase” flowed on to Goulburn which saw increases of between 10pc (Gourock Avenue) and 50pc (Bourke Street) on residential land values.
Median residential land value across the council area rose from $137,000 in 2017 to $177,000 in 2018 (25.7pc) while median sale prices increased from $367,000 to $409,500.
Marketing agent for the 112-lot Joseph’s Gate subdivision on Taralga Road, Tom Antony from Antony and Edwards, is not surprised by the trend.
The estate is just one ‘significant development’ the Valuer General mentioned in his report as influences of the data.
In 14 months 70 of the 90 lots so far released have sold. They range from 700 to 1250 square metres, some poised above the Wollondilly River. More than 50pc of buyers were local, many of them owner-occupiers, while 25 per cent were investors and the remainder, spec builders.
“The market has definitely increased in the past 12 months, though it’s steadying now,” Mr Antony said.
Core Logic Data showed 14pc growth in house prices in Goulburn in 2017 and five per cent in 2018. Residential land prices increased 13pc and 12pc respectively in the same time. In 2016, there was a 30pc jump in residential land prices, Mr Antony said.
“Goulburn’s proximity between Sydney and Canberra is the strongest driver of this. A lot of people are being priced out of Sydney but we are also getting strong interest from Wollongong,” he told The Post.
The VG’s report noted a large increase in the number of undeveloped residential lots sold in 2018 within Goulburn. In addition, residential land immediately to the CBD’s south and north and flood-affected lots to the south of the Wollondilly River shot up in value but were still affordable.
Meantime, Tallong also capitalised on demand flowing from the Southern Highlands. Unimproved land values jumped by 40pc . Residential land at Towrang rose 11pc in value in 2018, which was less than the 2017 figure.
“(This) was a reflection of of zoning changes allowing a minimum lot of two hectares under Amendment No 4 Goulburn Mulwaree LEP 2009,” the report stated.
On other fronts, sluggish growth in Goulburn’s industrial land values in the past few years is showing signs of improvement. In 2017 there were eight open market sales, compared to 11 in 2018 but average sale price rose from $462,000 to $613,000 over the same period.
On average, industrial land values have risen 8pc. However South Goulburn, Wayo Street, Maud Street and parts of Marulan rose 10pc.
The Valuer General expected industrial demand to continue as new investors, including super funds snapped up a diminishing supply of lots.
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