Buyers of run-down Valley landmark expected to be known by Christmas

Waltons Building in Fortitude Valley.
Waltons Building in Fortitude Valley.
Walton\'s on Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley.

Walton\'s on Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley.

The new owners of one of Fortitude Valley's most run-down landmark buildings are expected to be known by Christmas, with the heritage-listed Waltons building set to finally be sold.

Several expressions of interest from high profile bidders have been received to buy the Waltons building opposite McWhirters on Wickham Street.

Adjacent Fortitude Valley train station, the 3.5 hectare L-shaped block of land was a piece of prime inner-Brisbane real estate.

Offers have been received from both international and Australian firms.

Those offers were being considered by the owners and an announcement on the successful buyer "could be made in a month," commercial real estate agents Knight Frank confirmed on Monday.

In August, the owners decided to sell the properties to allow the new owners the opportunity to develop a major part of Fortitude Valley.

The properties are owned by the prominent Lee family.

Chui Fan Lee and his two daughters, Nancy and Joyce Lee, amassed a portfolio of more than 50 properties in Brisbane, Ipswich and Toowoomba since the mid-1960s, through an investment company called Mount Cathay Pty Ltd.

Knight Frank's Christian Sandstrom, who heads the firm's commercial real estate sales in Queensland, confirmed "good offers" from international and Australian companies.

"We have received several expressions of interest for the properties from different parties," Mr Sandstrom said.

"We are now settling terms of agreement with those parties."

Mr Sandstrom said Knight Frank had received offers from several "buyer types" and "developers" who had expressed interest in the land along Brunswick Street and for the Waltons building.

He declined to provide details of their offers at this stage, telling Fairfax Media the Lee family was now assessing the offers.

"There are a number of developer parties that have lodged offers they want to talk privately about some more," he said.

Mr Sandstrom said he expected Knight Frank and the Lee family would make a decision in about a month and said he understood the offers fitted in the price range the family had expected.

He said the family was discussing the community benefit each offer could make to the precinct.

The buildings date back to the early 1900s, when Fortitude Valley grew to become a retail heartland for Brisbane, including institutional Brisbane retailers TC Beirne, McWhirters and Waltons.

Walton's bought into Fortitude Valley in the 1950s and then bought out the original drapery business Overells in 1956.

Overells Lane runs off Wickham Street down towards Fortitude Valley train station.

The buildings could be transformed into a retail, residential or commercial centre, or a mixed-use development, or linked to an arts facility or theatre.

Fortitude Valley Chamber of Commerce president Murray Sutherland has previously said the sale would give a new owner the opportunity to transform a neglected part of the inner-city suburb.

"From the chamber's point of view, it is a terrific opportunity for the new owners to make a landmark statement in that part of the Valley," he said.

"The sale is well overdue."

The Waltons building is on Brisbane City Council's heritage list as a building showing the important growth of the Valley's retail area up to the 1920s.

This story Buyers of run-down Valley landmark expected to be known by Christmas first appeared on Brisbane Times.