RSL Club goes under the hammer on March 17

By SAMANTHA TURNBULL

THE LISMORE RSL Club will go under the hammer on March 17, with the Lismore City Council at the front of the bidders' queue.

The auction date was announced yesterday by Lismore Real Estate agent Peter Butcher, after confirmation from Lismore mayor Merv King that the council would be bidding on the site.

However, Cr King said the council had a strict price in mind that it was willing to pay.

"We can't say how much we're willing to spend, considering it's an auction, but we have a good idea," he said.

"We've taken into account the value of the site and any work that will need to be done to it.

"One obvious thing we've factored into our deliberations is an elevator for disabled access."

Lismore real estate agents willing to speculate on what price the defunct club would fetch estimated between $500,000 and $1.5 million.

"The land alone would be worth $700,000," said Neil Short, of Ian Weir and Son.

"I'd say $1.5 million for the lot, because that's what I believe the bank is owed.

"If anyone's serious, that's what they should be thinking of spending."

One potential obstacle for prospective buyers is the current zoning of the site, which allows for it to be used only for public recreation purposes.

If a bidder wanted to secure the site for a commercial establishment it could mean a battle of more than a year to have the land rezoned.

However, that would not be an issue for the Lismore City Council, which wants to turn the building into a community centre.

"That idea had unanimous support at Tuesday night's council meeting," Cr King said.

"Purchasers will need to be aware the current zoning is restrictive to community activities, but that's what we want to use it for.

"They could definitely make an application for rezoning, but that could take 15 to 18 months and even if the council approves it, the Minister would have the ultimate decision."

The March 17 auction will take place on-site at 10am and will be conducted by Mr Butcher.

An auction of the club's contents, excluding memorabilia, will take place on site at 11am and will be conducted by Gray's Auctioneers, of Sydney.

Inspections of the site for potential buyers will begin next week.

To make an appointment phone Lismore Real Estate on 6621 2438.



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