Ballarat RSL building on the market

THE RSL has put its iconic home of nearly 100 years up for sale with a price tag of almost $2 million.The historical 1901 building on Lyons Street will be auctioned off next month.Ballarat RSL president Alex Tascas said the building had become inappropriate for their needs.“It is no longer a suitable for our ageing membership,” Ms Tascas said.“It is has steps to get in and out of, we can’t utilise the top storey and can’t put a lift in because the building won’t take a lift.”She said a lot of money was required to maintain the building. Ms Tascas said due to the accessibility issues the RSL was unable to offer their members more social activities like afternoon teas and health programs. Gulls and Company real estate sales consultant Ken Clark said they had received a lot of interest from commercial and residential buyers.“We are quoting $1.5 to $2 million,” Mr Clark said. “There are areas that needs some work but it is structurally sound.” He said the building still showcased the craftsmanship of yesteryear with features like stained-glass windows, ceiling roses and a “superb timber staircase”.Built in 1901 by surgeon William Cussen, the 12 room building was acquired by the RSL in 1919 for 3500 pounds. Opened by Lt General Sir John Monash, the building had remained with the RSL ever since. “We will be bidding farewell to the old home on December 12,” Ms Tascas said.“(A few of us) will have a meal, sit around and have a few drinks and reminisce.“Say a toast to the old lady and then quietly step down to our new RSL at The George Hotel.”Being on the ground floor, their new home, she said, would be more accessible to the members.“It will have five offices, a kitchenette, a meeting room and a small dining area attached to our new Bull Allen bar,” Ms Tascas said.The RSL will also have access to The George Hotel’s meeting and function rooms as well as their mini bus.“We will be able to pick up our veterans and bring them in,” she said.“It is a great new beginning and a renewal of the RSL.“It will keep it going into the next century.”The RSL building on Lyons Street South will be auctioned at 2pm on December 16.