A council-owned parcel of land adjacent to the Wendouree West Reserve has sold for more than $300,000 above expectations, with council approving the sale on the same night a tender for a massive upgrade to soccer facilities was approved.
The 6750 square metre property, at 1 Kurrajong Road, is separated into 10 titles in a General Residential Zone - council documents note it attracted "significant" interest from developers, with 16 offers received from 14 parties.
The property sold for $800,000, which was welcomed by councillors at the most recent meeting - the land was valued at about $500,000.
The land, to the south of the reserve, is currently vacant, and had been declared surplus to council's requirements in 2017.
It was noted by acting infrastructure and environment director Darren Sadler there had been plans for the site since 2008 when master plans for the precinct began to be discussed.
Online advertising for real estate agent Colliers International notes a potential extension of Kurrajong Road to connect it to the other side of the existing soccer club facilities could be built.
Mr Sadler said the development of the land would complement the major Forest Rangers Soccer Club facilities project at the reserve.
"This englobo (under-developed lots) parcel of land has been part of council's disposal of assets program for some time," he told the council meeting.
"Council followed the correct statutory process, and no submissions received, we undertook an expressions of interest process through Colliers, following a process to appoint a real estate agent - the process ran for about a month, and we had a great turnout, a suite of offers for the site.
"This is a good news story."
Earlier in the marathon meeting, councillors approved moving to the next phase of the Wendouree West Reserve plan, with the project to go out to tender.
At the last election, the state government promised $7 million to build three new soccer pitches at the reserve, which was funded in the 2019-20 budget.
According to reporting at the time of the announcement, the funding will include a new pavilion and community hub for the Wendouree Neighbourhood Centre, lighting for night games, and basketball and skate facilities.
Labor also promised a new dog park at the site, accessible play spaces and barbecue areas.
The Wendouree West Men's Shed will also be relocated to the reserve.
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The initial part of the project involves spending $1.58 million on three grass soccer pitches, with Pitchcraft winning the tender for construction.
"A key desire of the project is to blend residents from a number of communities; to see them sharing spaces, enjoying the new community facilities provided, to improve access, and reduce negative perceptions about the Wendouree West community," the council agenda states.
Councillor Daniel Moloney, moving the motion, said it was a win for a neglected part of the community, and particularly for the younger members of the club - Councillor Des Hudson, seconding, said the project was a testament to the hard work from the Forest Rangers club, adding he hoped it would be complete by the end of next year.
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