Historic Werribee dairy a potential developer cash cow despite heritage overlay

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A former dairy in Werribee sold for $1.6 million under the hammer on June 8.

A historic Werribee dairy farm has sold to a local developer, as dubious neighbours watched on at a mortgagee auction on June 8.

A joke opening bid of $600,000 was quickly dismissed by the auctioneer at 56-58 Wattle Ave, but it summed up the mood of the crowd of about 70 people, many of them neighbours who had seen multiple attempts to develop on the site fall flat.

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The three-bedroom Werribee home has local heritage overlay on it.

Each of the three bedrooms features an ensuite bathroom.

Selling for $1.6 million after just four bids — two of them vendor bids — the 6215sq m block featured a three-bedroom weatherboard home with heritage overlay, as well as a shed, barn and tennis court.

During a slow start to the auction, Hocking Stuart Werribee auctioneer Eric Bartz told the crowd of the future potential of the site, “obviously all subject to council approval.”

The comment drew a mixture of scoffs and laughs from sceptical locals mingling in the crowd.

But an opening vendor bid of $1.5 million was quickly raised by the only bidder to $1.55 million, at which point Mr Bartz went inside to seek direction.

Returning with another vendor bid of $1.58 million, the auction was quickly wrapped up on the next bid of $1.6 million.

The huge block was picked up by a local developer.

A tennis court on the 6215sq m property.

The buyer, who did not want to be named, said he would “sit on it and see how things develop, with a long-term view.”

The Werribee property has local heritage overlay from the Wyndham City Council for its use as a dairy and long association with a prominent local family.

Hocking Stuart agent Samantha McCarthy said the property was an attractive proposition for a buyer who had done research on the heritage overlay.

“I would expect him to land bank it — he’s a local homeowner himself — and in time see what he could do with the site,” Ms McCarthy said. “It was good to see a great result and it will be interesting to see what the buyer does with the property.”

She said there had been an increase in the number of investors pursuing property in the wake of the election.

“There’s definitely a lot more confidence — we didn’t see a lot of investors in the marketplace leading into the election,” Ms McCarthy said.

“Since then we’ve seen a lot more investors.”

The property is one of few remaining large blocks in the region.

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