Council property used for childcare services sold off

Council property used for childcare services sold off
Brendan Rees

An “underutilised” City of Melbourne-owned property in the CBD is among four properties to have been recently sold off.

The two-storey building at 100-104 A’Beckett St, a former childcare centre, was 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 505-513 Abbotsford St, North Melbourne. 

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”, with offers 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,” the council said, which a council report last year revealed would amount to $15 million.

“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,” the council said.

When asked how much each property sold for, the council said, “settlement of the properties will occur over the coming months”.

According to a council report published last November, it said there was a potential for the sale of A’Beckett St to deliver on City of Melbourne’s Affordable Housing Strategy 2020-2030 by providing purchasers with “an incentive to undertake the development of social/affordable housing on the site”.

The Canning St and Abbottsford St properties, however, were deemed too small to meet the requirements under the Melbourne Planning Scheme for affordable housing, the council report noted.

The property at A’Beckett St, which has a heritage overlay, was also used as a staging post for the council’s cleaning program during COVID-19.

The council has been contacted about  whether the buyer of the A’Beckett St building may use it for affordable housing.

Community feedback and consultation were taken into consideration before each sale. •

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. 

Last year, the council had proposed to also sell off a building controversially at 30-38 Gatehouse Drive, Kensington, which provides a vital family clinic space to private organisation Midwives and Mothers Australia.  

But a community petition to keep the much-loved clinic led to councillors extending its lease by two years. 

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