A heritage-listed warehouse in Sydney’s inner west that was at one time the home of a sweet factory could be set for a new life as creative office or converted to a grand home after hitting the market for the first time in decades.
The 1920s-built building, the site of the former Sydney Confectionery Company at 10-12 Egan Street, Newtown, has been used by the present owners as a base for their live theatre painting business, Scenographic Studio.
“The current owners have owned it for the last 40 years and they’ve had a commercial business that’s run out of the property,” said selling agent David Hickey, senior executive metropolitan and regional sales at Savills.
They have now decided to sell the two-level, 612-square-metre property after retiring earlier this year.
Mr Hickey said that the property had already received strong interest after only a week on the market.
“There’s been a mix so far. It’s predominantly value-add developers looking for adaptive reuse for office and also a variety of residential conversion proposals – that seems to be a pretty common scene in Newtown.”
He said buyers had been showing interest at about the $3 million mark during the early stages of the campaign.
Mr Hickey said that it was rare to see a home in Newtown sell for more than $2.75 million – but that the “nostalgia” factor offered by the property would likely appeal to buyers.
“People are drawn to the quirky, commercial properties. These properties are rare but they offer that level of nostalgia,” he said.
The property is being pitched as a “total blank canvas” but if it is bought for use as a residence, it’s likely that it will be developed into a single house rather than any multi-unit development.
“There is scope for it to be a duplex… but my gut tells me it will be a whole building if it were to be a residential buyer,” Mr Hickey said.
Warehouse conversions have been popular across the once industrial inner west following waves of gentrification at started decades ago. Some warehouse sites have formed the basis for major apartment developments, such as the former ‘Biscuit Factory’ in Camperdown.
Smaller-scale warehouses have been snapped up by buyers keen for a home that stands out from the crowd.
The price tag of $3 million plus would put the unrenovated Newtown warehouse among some of the suburb’s highest residential sales if it sold for that amount, but it’s not unheard of for converted warehouses to fetch more.
Earlier this year a 420-square-metre warehouse at 22 Nelson Street, in nearby Annandale, which had been converted into a luxury four-bedroom residence, sold for $4.18 million.
But it’s also possible that the warehouse could remain as a commercial property, as business buyers were attracted to the building’s location, said Nick Tuxworth, Savills’ associate director metropolitan and regional sales.
“We’re expecting the strong interest to continue from the local and offshore owner-occupier market looking for a freehold building in the city fringe for business requirements,” he said.
The property, which has access to three train stations and is walking distance to the University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, could also appeal to investors.
Student accommodation and hospitality uses are other potential uses, according to Savills, subject to council approval.
If the property does sell under the hammer, it will join a flurry of converted buildings in the city fringe market that have changed hands this year.
In May Savills sold a much larger fully-leased warehouse with retail and office component at 4-8 Australia Street, Camperdown, for $12 million ($6660 a square metre).
Colliers International sold the Watters Gallery building (a similar size to 10-12 Egan Street) at 109 Riley Street, Darlinghurst, in March for $5,505,000 ($9,524 per square metre).
The Newtown warehouse is going to auction on Friday, October 11.
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