Fletcher Jones site taken off the market

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EXCLUSIVE

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #A5CECD;”] T [/dropcap]he Fletcher Jones site has been withdrawn from sale, pending a change to its zoning by the Warrnambool City Council.

Real estate agent Mark Wilson, from Wilson Real Estate, told Bluestone that the site had been withdrawn from sale by administrators just after Christmas in anticipation that it would be rezoned from industrial to mixed use.

“There are still ‘for sale’ signs all over the property and I am sure if a cashed-up buyer walked in tomorrow they would not be turned away, but it is not on the market right now,” he said.

Mr Wilson said a change of zoning would hopefully make the site a more attractive prospect for a potential purchaser because it allowed for greater flexibility.

“That is certainly the aim,” he said.

The present Industrial 3 zoning allows for such things as small scale retail, workshops, mini factories and office space.

The derelict site was listed for sale again in July last year, at which time the council indicated it might be prepared to change the zoning if it was presented with a compelling plan.

Despite the withdrawal from sale indicating such a plan may be afoot, the Warrnambool City Council told Bluestone that it has not received a submission for the zoning to be changed.

The 2.3ha site was owned by Geelong businessman Ian Ballis, who developed the Mill Markets, but has been under administration since July 2012 as part of his company, Daramking.

Administrator Ken Sellers, from SellersMuldoonBenton, is handling the affairs of Daramking, but was unavailable for comment.

fj doors 2
The former owner of the Fletcher Jones site, Ian Ballis, who developed the Mill Markets before going into receivership in 2012. Image: Jeremy Lee, ABC Radio. Click on the image to hear Jeremy’s story from 2008.

[box] Bluestone Magazine is part of a growing grassroots campaign to save the best of the Fletcher Jones site in Warrnambool from being lost through neglect. We support a sensitive development of the site that respects its social and physical history and preserves the iconic gardens and silver ball for future generations.[/box]

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