Vacant block gas leak causes stink
PLANS FOR an onsite auction went up in a stink yesterday when firefighters were called to a gas-leak at the property less than two hours before it was set to go under the hammer.
LJ Hooker principal Alan Wetton said he had hoped to hold an auction of a vacant block of land on Kent Street onsite but quickly changed his mind when he caught a whiff of the natural gas at 9.45am and called in the firies.
“It was a very minor accident – it looked like somebody had just knocked one of the pipes – and was fixed very quickly,” he said. “I wasn’t even aware [the gas] was still connected.
“But obviously we couldn’t hold the auction onsite with all the water and mess.”
The auction was eventually moved to the Maryborough LJ Hooker office – right across the road – but the 554 square metre block did not sell.
Auctioneer Herbert Neil started bidding at $350,000, lowered the price to $240,000 but called it a day when none of the three registered bidders made a bid.
He noted that the reserve price was a bargain considering five derelict shops destroyed by fire in February had been demolished and the site was now “clean” and “ready for construction”.
“It’s possibly one of the best vacant CBD spaces in Maryborough,” he said.
Mr Wetton was not surprised the block did not sell this time round.
“I think people are still a bit shy after what’s been happening in the markets,” he said.
“It should be interesting to see how much it eventually sells for – the last block to be auctioned off in the CBD was the old Centrelink building and it ended up selling for $870,000. It’s a bit bigger but the building had to be demolished.”