Rocky market on edge of eight-year boom after huge sales
THE COMMERCIAL real estate market is picking up in Rockhampton, as can be attested by two motels selling within a month and another commercial building selling within less than 12 hours on the market.
The Fitzroy Motor Inn, on the corner of Fitzroy and Campbell streets, sold with the price tag of $1 million last month.
The Tropical Gateway Motor Inn, on Gladstone Rd, went into an unconditional sale this week however, the price could not be disclosed.
McArthur Real Estate Central Queensland regional manager and commercial real estate agent Robin McArthur said the buyers of both motels were interstate buyers who were owner-operators and planning to move to Rockhampton to run the businesses.
He said the Fitzroy Motor Inn was a "bargain" as the leasehold sold six years ago for $800,000 and the freehold sold for only $200,000 more.
"The well-known Mudcrab Restaurant at the motel will be making a revival," Mr McArthur said.
Back in the day, the restaurant was popular for it's seafood quality before it was closed about five years ago.
"The previous and current owners are still getting calls enquiring about the restaurant today," Mr McArthur said.
"The new restaurant owner is going to bring it back to life... they keen to learn all about it."
Mr McArthur said the fine-dining restaurant would be coming soon as they negotiated a chef this week.
"Rocky will have a good quality restaurant within a month," he said.
Under the new ownership, the motel has gone from 50 per cent occupancy to 100 per cent virtually overnight.
"They reduced their drive in rack rate to $75 and have just updated their photos on the internet.... they haven't stopped," Mr McArthur said.
Other commercial property markets are also going well.
2A Denham St, between Quay and East street, was put online at 9pm and was under contract the following morning.
Local law firm, McGown Lawyers bought the building for $550,000.
160 Denison St sold for just under $2 million to a local investor as part of their portfolio.
The tenants at that building are Smart City Training and Mango 4 Office Technology.
Mr McArthur said these sales proved the local economy was one on the rise.
He explained that Rockhampton goes through eight year cycles which bottomed out last year, but was now on the first year of the upward cycle.
"So it is fantastic time to buy in the commercial and industrial market... even the commercial leasing market is picking up," he said.
"The time to buy in Rockhampton is right now."
He said there was usually 12 months difference between the commercial market and the residential sector picking up.
"Even the residential market is going to tighten up and strengthen," he said.
"We are seeing vacancy rates tighten in Rockhampton.
"Its good news for the local community, good news for jobs, good news for people putting money into the city, good news for everyone."