Reading Cinemas yet to sell Moonee Ponds market site for reputed $20 million plus

The US-based Reading Cinema chain is yet to sell the former 1.34 hectare Moonee Ponds market site which has been a car park since bought 15 years ago.

It was bought with the hope of becoming a landmark entertainment complex. Reading has concept plans, but no permit, for a $250 million mixed-use development with three apartment towers, the tallest at 26 levels.

With six street frontages the site is tipped to sell for about $20 million plus through Colliers International's Peter Bremner and Jeremy Gruzewski inconjunction with CBRE's Justin Clarkson, Scott Orchard and Ari Petrovs.

Expressions of interest closed July 11, with interest coming from Moonee Valley Council among other parties who are still undertaking their due diligence.

The land was permitted in 1997 to become a 12-screen cinema complex which rival Hoyts went to VCAT to prevent being built.

Last August, after not receiving any formal building application, the Moonee Valley Council demanded Reading sell the site.

The suburb ranks in the former state government's Melbourne 2030 planning policy as an activity centre.

Reading bought the market from Adamco, a developer since rebranded Hallmarc.

At the time the New York-based Reading was planning to build 50 screens in centres that include the Gold Coast and Dubbo. Reading was then a niche player in the US, with 50 screens in Puerto Rico, 20 in New York and eight in Houston.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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