Bike heaven


WHEELS are turning at Meeniyan with hundreds of additional cyclists set to descend on Meeniyan and South Gippsland following the sale of the Uniting Church in Meeniyan last Friday.

The new purchasers, Jessica and Peter Gould, who own Camp Waratah at Waratah Bay, are planning to turn the former church into bike accommodation which can also be used for bike education programs in schools.

Jessica’s father, David Wallis, who formerly owned Camp Rumbug near Foster, purchased the church on the Goulds’ behalf for $500,000 when it was knocked down to him by auctioneer Barry Redmond of Landmark Harcourts, Leongatha.

Mr Wallis told The Star on Friday he and the family had been thinking about the concept for “decades” and the facility would be the “first of its kind in Victoria.”

Upwards of 150 bike riders at a time could potentially be accommodated in the building which has a massive downstairs area ideal for a dining room and kitchen. The main body of the church and upstairs rooms could be converted into bunk or en suite rooms.

Mr Wallis said there were no plans for demolishing the church but instead upwards of $1 million would need to be invested in bringing the building up to the standard required.

Two members of the Uniting Church Presbytery of Gippsland, Carolyn Field and Deb Bye, attend the auction and were delighted with how the sale went.

“We are so pleased it will have a community use and that it won’t be demolished,” Ms Bye said.

The body of the church was the venue for the auction, with more attendees than a regular Sunday service, as many pews were occupied in readiness for the calling of bids.

Auctioneer Mr Redmond told those gathering “this fantastic property was located in a very progressive town, full of great shops, quality restaurants and a bakery with no vacant shops around.”

“We have just sold the roadhouse down the road. Every property here in Meeniyan is in demand and we have had enormous interest for all properties,” he said.

“Here presents another opportunity; it could be turned into a reception centre, day care centre, pilates studio, the ideas are endless.”

Bidding started at $350,000 with two $50,000 bids to $450,000, a $10,000 bid to $460,000 before David Wallis’s knockout bid of $500,000, after which the property was declared on the market and sold on that bid.

Mr Redmond said he had three interested parties looking at the property but said he was delighted with how the sale went and on hearing of the future plans.

The sale of the Uniting Church is an end of an era; the church having been built entirely by the community and free of any debt in 1982.

A Youth Club Hall downstairs was added in the mid-1990s, funded by the proceeds from the sale of the manse on land just above the church.

A further renovation of the church occurred later, funded by the proceeds of the sale of land which was once occupied by the Presbyterian Church.



Delighted: from left, happy with the sale result were, auctioneer from Landmark Harcourts Barry Redmond, purchaser David Wallis (on behalf of his daughter and son-in-law), and Landmark Harcourts sales consultants Kellie Thomas and Matt Redmond, at the auction of Meeniyan Uniting Church on Friday.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=25289

Posted by on Jul 3 2018. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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