Locals buy landmark site
LIKE a phoenix rising from the ashes, a landmark Coffs Harbour CBD building has sold for $3.45 million.
The former home of the Commonwealth Bank and Rivers clothing store at 92-96 Harbour Drive was extensively damaged in a suspected arson attack in September 2013.
Since then the building has undergone extensive repair and renovation to bring it to sale.
At auction on Thursday, the building was passed in at $2.5 million.
A few hours and negotiations with three parties later, LJ Hooker Commercial Coffs Harbour Principal Troy Mitchell had sold the property.
"The result was $450,000 above the reserve price," Mr Mitchell said.
"We had a great marketing campaign and terrific interest from 25 groups, mainly local investors."
The new owners of the building are locals who have some grand plans for the CBD site.
Mr Mitchell said the owners intend spending about $2 million to transform the ground floor into seven retail shops and 20 car parks to support the rental tenancies and offices on the upper level.
"They intend to upgrade the building to a high quality; similar, if not better than Coffs Central," he said.
Mr Mitchell said he was happy to see the building go to locals.
"Local investors seem to be the majority of the interest in Coffs Harbour; it's good to see local money coming back to the town."