12 March 2024

Sydney developer buys former Conolly’s Mill in Goulburn

| John Thistleton
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An aerial view of the huge former Conolly’s Mill, which has been purchased by a Sydney developer. Photo: CBRE Real Estate.

A prominent former furniture warehouse and one-time bustling mill and municipal baths in Goulburn has been sold to a Sydney developer with a track record of mixed-use projects.

Opposite Goulburn Square shopping centre, close to the railway station and other amenities, the 4242 sqm block with car parking and buildings has been bought and sold several times in recent years for projects including a car museum, motel and child care centre.

CBRE Sydney commercial agent Xavier Rahme said he could not disclose the sale price until the property, which had been in the hands of a receiver, was settled on 30 June.

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Mr Rahme said it was a difficult site to sell because of its heritage overlay, what was under the floorboards (a disused swimming pool) and the acoustics issue arising from its proximity to the main southern railway line. He said the site’s zoning permitted retail, commercial and residential developments.

He said he had received other offers for the property at 285 Sloane Street, but they were conditional and the vendor, Sydney receiver Gemi Investments, needed an unconditional sale.

Previous owners included a Goulburn commercial agent Peter Mylonas in partnership with developer John Kelly (now deceased). Mr Mylonas also had the property listing and had fielded interest from big developers.

“It’s good to see it has sold, let’s hope that someone will add value to the property and do something positive for the city,” Mr Mylonas said. “That will send a positive message out to the world.”

The commercial site in Sloane Street, Goulburn was added to the NSW State Heritage Register in 1999.

The commercial site in Sloane Street, Goulburn was added to the NSW State Heritage Register in 1999. Photo: John Thistleton.

He did not know how much the property changed hands for, but it could have been as low as $2.5 million.

He had sold the property to Sydney developer Colin Curran who was active in Goulburn at the time, having previously purchased land for a residential subdivision at Mary’s Mount, north of the city.

The sale subsequently triggered legal action and Mr Mylonas, who won the case, spent about $220,000 on legal fees.

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He said the exterior and car parking were in sound condition, except for the boarded-up windows, and work had been done under the direction of another owner, to petition off a section for a child care centre. Overall though, the interior would need millions of dollars worth of work.

Designed as the municipal baths in 1892 by acclaimed Goulburn architect E.C. Manfred, the site was converted into Conolly’s Mill in 1908. A huge, corrugated iron silo was built for the mill in 1925, and three shifts were engaged in the 1930s, exporting flour to China and Russia. The mill produced top quality flour, bran, pollard and chook food. It closed in the early 1970s.

Subsequent uses included a skating rink and bowling alley, and later a furniture warehouse.

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