Echuca’s Historic Rice Mills Site Presents Huge Opportunity

Posted on 06th April 2023

Echuca’s historic Rice Mills site has hit the market, offering one of the largest development opportunities on the edge of the thriving city’s CBD in recent times.

Fitzroys David Bourke and Brent Glassford are managing the Expressions of Interest campaign which closes Thursday, 27th April at 2pm, on behalf of a local consortium from the region who have held the property for a number of years.

Expectations are circa $6.5 million.

The 3.518-hectare site is located at 36-90 Annesley Street, with Ogilvie Avenue-Murray Valley Highway exposure and access to the south and is just 350 metres from the commercial activity precinct and adjacent to Echuca train station.

“It’s a fantastic time for buying Echuca, which is headed for a really strong period of growth, and this site is one of the last vacant Commercial 1-zoned parcels of land in the region,” Bourke said.

“We’re expecting interest both from buyers who will look to develop the site as a whole or slice it up and develop in stages. There’s a whole range of uses that the site can be used for, including retail and showroom, office, hotel, childcare, aged care, specialist residential, and medical,” he said.

The site is positioned amongst large-format retail and showroom users such as Bunnings, Harvey Norman, Supercheap Auto, Beaurepaires and BCF, while there is a new Woolworths-anchored shopping centre being built nearby on the Northern Highway,

It was home to the iconic Rice Mills that stored and processed rice for decades, and employed many people in the area, until its closure in 2003. Currently, the site has a short-term lease hardstand area to Johns Lyng Group returning $58,200 gross per annum, while the Njernda Aboriginal Corporation occupies offices on the site expiring February 2025 with no options, bringing $34,975 per annum net. A further $6,500 per annum net in rent comes from promotional signage to the Ogilvie Avenue-Murray Valley Highway frontage.

The Rice Mills site was listed in the Campaspe Shire’s Echuca Commercial Strategy as a proposed option to accommodate new commercial uses in the Echuca CBD “which would involve formally identifying this site as part of the Echuca CBD and encouraging a range of uses”.

“Demand for all commercial, medical and specialist residential space and uses is set to spike in the coming years. The population of Echuca and Moama is circa 22,500 and is expected to grow over the next decade.

“Residential development projects like Wel.Co’s Yallarah and McMahon’s Place, which are 2,000-plus and 1,000-lot subdivisions respectively, are already selling or preparing to launch, while the 615-hectare Echuca West Community area is earmarked for 5,000 new homes accommodating 14,000 new residents.”

Following steady population growth over the past decade, Campaspe Shire Council is forecast to grow by 11.97% from 2023 to 2036.

“Echuca is a major commercial hub servicing the region with education, retail and commercial activities, the region’s population is further boosted throughout the year with an influx of tourists to the township and waterways for its water sports and historical Port and large fleet of paddle steamers,” Glassford said. Adding the region’s strong food and beverage offering with hotels, restaurant wineries, distilleries and breweries, tourism is a major generator of activity and injects $250 million each year into the Echuca economy.

The listing of the Rice Mills site comes as Fitzroys sells the 1.35-hectare site at 360-366, 378-386 & 388 Ogilvie Avenue in Echuca selling to respective landbankers from outside of the region looking to get a foothold in the fast-growing area.