Local buyers scared off as building fetches $2.6m



LOCAL investors were put off by the high price tag of Grafton's Telstra House, which sold recently for $2.6 million.

LJ Hooker principal Matt Dougherty, who negotiated the sale, said a Sydney investor secured the property following a three-way bidding war.

Mr Dougherty said it was a rare sale as most commercial properties in Grafton were sold in the $300,000-$500,000 price bracket.

"The size of the deal frightened off local investors ... it is a much bigger gamble," he said.

"It was good fun, it was certainly far more involved due to the intricate nature of the 50-page lease and the depth of inquiries which requires background research."

The property at 144 Fitzroy Street was put on the market in March for $2.7 million by its former Brisbane owner of 15 years.

Attempts to sell the property for $3 million 18 months ago failed, Mr Dougherty said.

"In the end the first person prepared to sign and exchange contracts unconditionally was the winner," he said.

The property was extensively advertised including two advertisements in The Financial Review.

Mr Dougherty said the property attracted serious interest from Cairns, Gympie, Bundaberg, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Telstra has occupied the building since it was built in 1980 and is in the middle of a seven-year lease, which expires in 2008.

The 1679 square metre office block provides a net rent of more than $300,000 per year.

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