Council sells off North Melbourne property, formerly home to health services
The City of Melbourne has sold off a building in North Melbourne, as well as two other “underutilised” buildings in the municipality that formerly provided community services.
The single storey building at 505- 513 Abbotsford St, located near the Arden precinct, had been put on the market last year after a proposal was endorsed by the council last November, which included selling properties at 47-49 Canning St, Carlton, and 100-104 A’Beckett St, Melbourne.
The decision to sell was made as the buildings “did not support City of Melbourne’s future needs, meet the standards for accessibility or align with the strategic objectives outlined in our Council Plan 2021-25”.
The council confirmed the sale of the properties on May 10, saying, “Following the six-week EOI campaign, CBRE (which was engaged to conduct the EOI), successfully achieved offers for all three properties at market value”.
The announcement, made on the Participate Melbourne website, noted the offers were officially signed by the council on May 5.
“The proceeds of the sales will be used to help deliver the City of Melbourne’s community infrastructure projects,” it said, which a council report revealed would amount to $15 million.
“We thank the community for their feedback through the consultation process, as well as CBRE for their work to deliver the EOI.”
By selling these properties, we will reinvest the proceeds into city-shaping infrastructure projects and the capital works program. It was an opportunity to think about how we want to evolve as a city and be bold in creating a better future for Melbourne.
According to a council report last year, the Canning St and Abbottsford St properties were deemed too small to meet the requirements under the Melbourne Planning Scheme for affordable housing.
The report also noted previous family and children services delivered from the properties have either relocated to new integrated family and children centres in Lady Huntingfield, North Melbourne Child Care Centre, North Melbourne Community Centre, or at the new Munro Community Hub to open this year.
The Abbotsford St building was formerly home to not-for-profit community health organisation Cohealth, which, as reported by North West City News last year, a Cohealth spokesperson said their organisation had always understood their lease agreement was short-term, with the City of Melbourne having “been very transparent about their sale plans”.
“We’ve enjoyed offering a range of child and family health services from Abbotsford St and have begun scoping other potential locations from which we can continue to provide these essential services,” the spokesperson said at the time.
The organisation expected to relocate this year and “can assure people that Cohealth will continue to offer accessible, community-based child and family health services for many years to come”.
Last year, the council had, controversially, also proposed to sell a building at 30-38 Gatehouse Drive, Kensington, which houses a vital family clinic to private organisation Midwives and Mothers Australia.
But a community petition launched to keep the much-loved clinic led to councillors voting in favour of extending its lease for two years.
Community feedback and consultation were taken into consideration for the sale of the properties. •