Ballina's iconic Big Prawn Bunnings sells for $21.3 million

Ballina's iconic Big Prawn Bunnings sells for $21.3 million
Ballina's iconic Big Prawn Bunnings sells for $21.3 million

An investor has spent $21.3 million buying the NSW north coast Bunnings hardware store at Ballina which comes with the national iconic tourism landmark, the Big Prawn.

The restored late 1980s, 33-tonne giant crustacean is on the 2.5 hectare site with its newly constructed 10,928-square metre Bunnings Hardware complex.

The hardware group spent $400,000 restoring the icon, adding a 16-metre tail weighing two tonnes.

Under the terms of the sale, Bunnings will apparently retain the rights to and responsibility for the prawn at West Ballina, the Australian Financial Review reported.

In 2009, the Horizon Drive icon faced demolition with its former owner Santo Pennisi securing permission from Ballina Shire Council to tear down the structure.

The CBRE sale reflecting a 6.7% yield was to an undisclosed South Australian investor through agents Justin Dowers and Mark Wizel.

“From the beginning it was clear that the Big Prawn was iconic in the region and we have been delighted to provide it with a facelift,” Bunnings general manager property Andrew Marks said.

The 2.5-hectare site had sold as a petrol station truck stop for $9 million to the hardware retailer in 2011. It had previously traded in 1999 at $3.6 million, some 10 years after the prawn was built. It has 173 metres of highway frontage at West Ballina.

The roadhouse creators, the builders Glenn Industries and the Goulburn developers Louis and Attila Moknay of LA Developments, famed for two other big daggy icons, the Big Merino at Goulburn and the Big Oyster at Taree, spent $500,000 and six months to erect it in 1989-90.

The Ballina Woolworths sold last year at $12.5 million.

The Ballina transaction closely follows the sale of a Bunnings Warehouse in Hastings for $15,160,000, representing a yield of 6.5%, to a Victorian-based syndicator

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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