Townhouse developer pays $4.6 million for former Sunshine library site after bidding frenzy

BRIMBANK City Council is set to pocket $4.6 million from the sale of the vacant site of the former Sunshine Library.

The 3800sq m island block at 20 Alexandra Ave smashed expectations of $3.2-$3.4 million to achieve the price — which equates to $1210.5 per sq m — in a “frenzied” auction.

Douglas Kay Real Estate agent Peter Kay said four residential developers competed for the “exceptionally rare” piece of land this afternoon, with the bidding kicking off at $3 million and quickly soaring to its sale price in just 17 bids.

“We never found out what the reserve was — it got to $4 million so quickly,” Mr Kay said.

“When it did, the Brimbank council representative said ‘sell it’.”

The bidding was so fast, parties were bidding the same amounts on top of each other, he said: “It was a bit of a frenzy.”

Mr Kay said the buyer planned on building townhouses on the site, which is flanked by Alexandra Ave, Dulcie St and McCracken St and suits medium density development.

He estimated the block would fit about 20 new homes, subject to council approval.

The site is 12.7km from the CBD and within walking distance of Sunshine Plaza Shopping Centre, Sunshine Leisure Centre, Sunshine train station, the suburb’s business precinct — and the new library.

 Mr Kay said it became vacant in the past six months, when the former Sunshine Library was relocated to the Brimbank Community and Civic Centre on Hampshire Rd.

About 100 people watched the block go under the hammer, among them “the who’s who of real estate in Melbourne and western suburbs industry”, he said: “Every real estate agent from the city to the western suburbs turned up for a look.

“It was one of the opportunities of the decade to acquire something like this.”

Mr Kay said properties like this didn’t typically go to public auction, but as owner was a council, “transparency was needed”.

He said developers were increasingly being drawn to Sunshine and surrounds by improving infrastructure — the product of strong government investment — and the area’s gentrification as a changing demographic moves in.

“Buyer demand is also supporting developers’ decisions to invest in the area,” he said.