A Bulli industrial site that's the long-time home of a prominent international business has changed hands, with the sellers leasing back the site.
However, any suggestion of a residential development occurring at the site in the future appears to be a non-starter, at least for the time being.
The site is located at 13-19 Franklin Avenue, Bulli, and sold earlier this week for $20,028,000.
Co-selling agent, Colliers Wollongong managing director Simon Kersten previously told the Mercury the property had a guide "in the vicinity of $20 million".
Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Kersten said it was sold to a Sydney-based buyer, "but this is not their first purchase in the Illawarra".
"They're long-term property investors," he said. "Their simple plan is to keep the tenants happy, and hopefully they're there for a long time.
"There was strong interest. For a $20 million investment property, we took a lot of inquiries - there were 60 inquiries.
"I think it shows confidence in Wollongong and the Illawarra, that people from far afield are investing in our region."
Sitting on 2.6 hectares of general industrial land, this site consists of a freestanding building split over warehouse and office space, a total floor area of 7750 square metres with 60 on-site parking spaces.
David Brown Santasalo Australia (formerly known as David Brown Gear), who specialise in manufacturing and servicing gearboxes, sold the site.
The Bulli site had been the Australian base of operations for the global company; they'd been based there since 1986.
Following the sale, the site is to be leased-back to David Brown Santasalo Australia for 10 years, with options.
The site has a net return of $1,162,500 plus GST per annum, and currently has a height limit of 11 metres.
Some potential investors were reportedly eyeing the potential for the property to one day be rezoned and become the site of a residential development.
Mr Kersten told the Mercury in October that the site could either suit a large development of small warehouses or townhouses; "around 100 of each, give or take".
However, Mr Kersten said there were currently no plans for the new owners to develop the site in the future.
"They'd be happy if David Brown never left," Mr Kersten said.
Dean Leydecker, managing director of DBS Australia said the sale was to support their growth strategy, as they needed a facility that was more purpose-built.
"But our long-term goal is to move somewhere in the Illawarra, to a 'centre of excellence' for gear manufacturing," he said.
"We want a purpose-built gearbox facility in the Illawarra... It will take us ten years to do that.
"We want to continue on in the Illawarra and support the Illawarra, and all our employees."
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