The old Hamilton fire station has defied expectations to sell for a stunning $1.96 million at auction on Saturday.
The building on Belford Street in Broadmeadow, circa 1925, went to a local builder who wished to remain anonymous.
“I think everybody was a bit surprised except the purchaser. It was well above the expectations we had for it, which were in the early millions,” agent Matt Kearney of Colliers International said.
There were five bidders in the running for the site, which is zoned high density residential.
Mr Kearney said all of the parties were interested in an owner-occupier arrangement in “some way, shape or form.”
The Herald understands the purchaser runs a boutique building company that specialises in high-end construction and town houses and plans to run its operations from a portion of the property. The new owner will also live in the building and lease a portion of it out.
“It’s very much a long term investment for them, which was why they were happy to pay a little more than what might be expected,” Mr Kearney said.
The building was surplus to the needs of Fire and Rescue NSW after they moved into a new headquarters in Lambton in July.
A representative of the organisation was at the auction and Mr Kearney said it appeared they were very happy with the result.
“He mentioned he got a congratulations call from someone higher up the chain of command,” he said.
The building is heritage listed and in original condition but has been well-maintained by the fire service over the years.
Mr Kearney said it was likely to require a fit-out, but that did not appear to deter potential buyers during the marketing campaign.
“It still has the old pressed metal ceilings and the fire house red brick, to a lot of people that’s quite attractive,” he said.
The result for the Hamilton fire station comes only days after a property on Parkway Avenue in Bar Beach sold under the hammer for $4.7 million, a new record for the suburb.
Mr Kearney said the current strength of the residential market and the subdivision potential of the fire station both probably factored into Saturday’s result.
“I’ve got no doubt that in time, we’ll see high density residential on that site in keeping with the zoning,” he said.
“Council want to see high density residential in that area, it’s close to town, the racecourse and to Beaumont Street.”