OFFERS of $60 million are expected for Canberra’s Fyshwick Market, which has been put up for sale five years after the owners – who operate their green grocers at the site – bought the property for just over $42 million.
A campaign is set to officially launch in the coming days through Burgess Rawson on behalf of Jack Irvine, his wife Barbara, and his brother Alan Irvine, who bought the 26,580 sqm landmark in 2016.
Established in Canberra’s inner south in 1967, the Fyshwick Markets was the national capital’s first farmers market.
Burgess Rawson partner Billy Holderhead said that the markets present a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity.
“This is a rare chance to secure a piece of Canberra’s history while also providing an incredible opportunity to add value,” he said.
“An investment of this magnitude will attract interest from a range of buyers, both across Australia and internationally. This is a trophy, essential service asset.”
The Markets comprise some 39 retailers ranging from bakeries; beer, wine and cider; delicatessens, seafood, meat and poultry; greengrocers and speciality stores. Among those is the vendors’ business Wiffens, which will continue to be run by Jack Irvine and his son Dave after a sale.
A new wing – the Niche Markets – was completed in late 2019, diversifying the offering even further to include a thriving retail hub providing gifts, homewares, clothing, flowers and more.
“The diverse stallholders really demonstrates how well the Markets have responded to a changing demographic, as well as the growing trend of farmers’ markets,” Holderhead said.
There is also a further 1,500 sqm of additional land available.
In addition to the future expansion plans, Burgess Rawson’s Guy Randell said that the Markets’ strategic location in Canberra’s inner south will have wide appeal. The markets are just minutes’ drive to the airport; universities and private education facilities and only five kilometres from the Canberra CBD.
The offering comes towards the home stretch of a busy year for Canberra’s commercial property market, focused mostly on major office buildings as its resilient office market saw vacancies fall to a 12-year low due to the heavy presence of government tenants.
Property powerhouse Charter Hall has been a major player, and together with Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC is reportedly buying 50 Marcus Clarke Street, leased to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, for $300 million.
It has already bought the Doris Blackburn building at 18 Canberra Avenue from developer DOMA, and the six-level campus-style Services Australia in Tuggeranong for $306 million this year.
Lendlease has just confirmed the sale of the Alan Woods office building for $115.1 million.
Sentinel Group has acquired the nation’s control centre for the COVID response for $83 million, and ASX-listed Irongate Group paid $74 million for the home of the federal government’s Australian National Audit Office.