The upcoming sale of a high profile commercial site along Peel Street in North Tamworth has drawn the attention of "a couple of national brands", according to the selling agent.
The site, 51 Peel Street, is located at the intersection of Peel Street (Manilla Road) and Johnston Street, and is being sold by Sydney-based real estate agency, Next Commercial.
Next Commercial partner Anthony Bray said the property was exposed to all highway traffic travelling northwest out of Tamworth to Attunga, Manilla and beyond.
"The site represents an incredible opportunity to purchase the last remaining highway-exposed site in Tamworth," Mr Bray said.
"If you travel north towards Manilla past the point of 51 Peel Street, there are no areas with a commercial zoning that will give you the flexibility this site has.
"This landmark site, with vacant possession, will afford both the developer and owner-occupier the perfect opportunity to maximise their future."
Mr Bray described the sale as a "once-in-a-generation opportunity" to purchase a highly desirable site, currently occupied by Wrap 'n' Roll servicing East and North Tamworth.
"Just in the past couple of days we've had interest from national brands in this site - two have approached us in the last 24 hours," he said.
"I can't disclose names but I can guarantee they are names we all know, and they can see the value of this site and the commercial opportunity it represents."
Mr Bray said the new owner could be in fast food, but there were "other" players in the market "looking for a profile site".
"I think the site could be bought by a convenience store, continuing on the trend of what it has been," he said.
In November 2018, Tamworth Regional Council approved a complete refurbishment for the property to provide three separate tenancies including a drive-thru facility to serve food.
"The window for that approval was five years, which lapsed in November 2023," Mr Bray said.
"Anyone purchasing the site, will have to reapply to council for a new approval, but there were no objections at the time when the original approval was made, so it is unlikely there would be any at this time.
"If it's the potential occupier I'm expecting, for example, [the national brand] would want a large footprint.
"They would not want to have neighbours, and would want to control the whole lot themselves because their requirement would be that they would consume all the net lettable area (NLA)."
The corner site has an exposure of 45.5 metres along its Peel Street and Johnston Street boundaries, which Mr Bray said would "maximise future redevelopment potential".
The site has an undulating profile falling about 2.45m to the eastern Johnston Street boundary, and supports a two-storey re-development. In it's current format, Mr Bray said the property had 178sqm of NLA, and there was another 142sqm approved.
"Effectively the new occupier could have 320sqm of NLA across the site, and they would occupy all that," he said.
"That does not include parking - there are 15 parking spaces, six on Johnston Street and nine along Peel Street in the current continuance."
The site is owned by local businessman Tony Summers, who Mr Bray said was looking towards retirement, which prompted the sale.
Mr Bray ruled out the possibility of another McDonalds at the site, "as they have four shops in Tamworth, all owned by the one family, and they will not be building any more", or KFC, and "national tenants" such as McDonald's "had secured all other major highway locations".
When quizzed about the attraction of Tamworth in particular, and regional Australia generally, to national brands, Mr Bray said there were two major factors influencing current lifestyle choices.
"During COVID-19 many people exited major cities to relocate back to their home towns, opting for a lifestyle change," he said.
"As a result, the expectation most people seek is for the city experience within the country town at an affordable level."
Mr Bray said the second factor was today's digital world.
"Expectations are instant and many of the younger generation expect everything their city friends experience in real time.
"Australia is also very unique - we are a nation that shares the same currency, no matter where you live.
"We speak the same language, we watch in real time the same TV shows, we eat the same food, we have access to the same households appliances, we wear the same designer clothes (if we choose) and educate our children under very similar syllabuses.
"This is why the country regions today are in high demand, and at a reduced cost in living to its city cousin."
The Peel Street property is listed for public auction on March 5 via Auction at Auction Works in Sydney, and is expected to fetch between $1 million and $1.2 million.