BENDIGO’S historic Mining Exchange building – also known as the Beehive Building – has been listed for sale shortly after a major restoration, and is waiting for a new owner to restore it to its former glory.
Built in 1872 as the Sandhurst Mining Exchange, when the city was still known as its original name, the building once housed the offices of sharebrokers on the first floor who from their balcony would trade shares with traders on the ground floor. Busy days could see up to 2,000 traders and a further 5,000 shareholders out the front buying and selling shares in speculative mining companies.
The property has seen many uses since, including a variety of retail outlets and upstairs offices, including as Allan’s Music, who purchased the building in 1927 and constructed the ground floor shops creating “Allan’s Walk”. The City of Greater Bendigo, which itself bought the building in 1999 for $3.36 million, sold the building in 2015 to development company Pall Mall Nominees.
Colliers’ Travis Hurst and Matthew Bowles of Dungey Carter Ketterer have been appointed to sell the building, which has significant frontage to Pall Mall (Midland Highway) and pedestrian access through to Hargreaves Mall at the rear.
“We believe that the interest generated by the sale of such a significant property will come from investors and owners who have a strong track record in developing and adapting the re-use of significant heritage buildings,” Hurst said.
A number of significant heritage features were uncovered and revived during the restoration of the building in 2019, and the owners were recognised with gongs for heritage architecture at both the Australian Architecture Awards and the Victorian Architect Awards last year.
“This building has played a key role in the rich history and heritage of the Goldfields of Central Victoria.” Hurst said.
“It is one of only two Mining Exchange buildings constructed in the era. In recent years, the ‘Beehive’ building has been fully restored back to life. It forms an intrinsic part of the council’s CBD development plan and is vital to Bendigo’s CBD future entertainment and tourist precinct.”
The open ground floor includes provisions for a commercial kitchen, bar and amenities that can cater up to 600 people throughout. The first floor boasts two function rooms both with significant architectural detail and a further ten smaller function or retail spaces. The second floor comprises another four rooms that are yet to be completed. There is lift access to all levels.
One of the notable features of the building is the central pitched glass roof and ornamental ironwork.
“Significant commercial buildings within Bendigo’s CBD have always been very tightly held,” Hurst said.
“The successful buyer of this property will have a unique opportunity to build on the history of this building and become an important part of this vibrant city.”