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HomeNewsUniting Church selling North Melbourne church site in expected $10m sale

Uniting Church selling North Melbourne church site in expected $10m sale

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The Uniting Church are selling a chunk of North Melbourne so big it’s being described as feeling like a village.

The Uniting Church are selling a North Melbourne property so big it’s being described as feeling like a village.

Complete with a church and a bluestone church hall, the 4800sq m package occupies two thirds of an inner-city block with expectations its price could top $10m.

But the sale will force the local congregation that still attends services at the site’s main church to find a new place of worship.

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A Uniting Church spokesman said they had been planning to merge with another congregation “for some time” as their current home no longer fit the faith group’s “missional goals”.

The 46m-tall, landmark spire of the Mark the Evangelist church built in 1879, superseding a smaller bluestone one built in 1859, is part of the offering.

51-69 Curzon St, North Melbourne - for herald sun real estate

The 1879-built church that has hosted the congregation of Mark the Evangelist for more than a century is part of the sale.

Also included in the deal are an eight-bedroom manse that once housed the church’s minister, several terrace homes, a handful of units, a commercial building and a few character buildings.

The sprawling property includes addresses from 579-599 Queensberry St and 51-61 Curzon St, but also occupies most of the frontage along Elm St, and covers close to two thirds of an inner-city block.

At present tenancies across the site pay a total of about $361,320 a year.

JLL capital markets director Jesse Radisich said at just under 5000sq m in size the site had a village feel, and had already attracted the eye of other churches, non-profit groups, landbankers and investors.

51-69 Curzon St, North Melbourne - for herald sun real estate

The title also includes a commercial building that faces Curzon St.

“It presents a wide range of possibilities,” Mr Radisich said.

“The church building itself could be used by another church group or converted into a really high-end home, or apartments.”

While the site has scope for improvements, he said its past would need to be respected at least externally for many of the properties — though some of the interiors also featured “beautiful features” the next owners might wish to preserve.

“There’s definitely some heritage value in the church building in particular,” Mr Radisich said.

The 1879-built church, the manse, an Elm St church hall, a parsonage and five cottages along Queensberry St are all on the Victorian Heritage Register.

51-61 Curzon St, North Melbourne - for herald sun real estate

The main church has impressive interior architecture.

The Uniting Church spokesman said the building was being sold after the local congregation “discerned that their needs for the future had changed” and that the site’s maintenance costs did not suit their “missional goals”.

“Their hope is that the proceeds of the sale will fund that missional work for many decades into the future,” they said.

“It would be our desire that a new owner is able to respectfully develop the site to reflect its history and allow rejuvenation of the buildings and introduction of contemporary uses to the site though a sensitive adaptive reutilisation.”

51-61 Curzon St, North Melbourne - for herald sun real estate

The church hall was built of materials in part recycled from the original church built in 1859.

Nearby the 6526sq m home of the Australian Red Cross at 23-47 Villiers St, was offered for sale last year and is expected to have a deal finalised early this year.

With scope for significant development, Mr Radisich said the Villiers St address had received buyer feedback close to $60m before final negotiations began with one party.

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Story Credit: news.com.au

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