The renovation to end all renovations has hit the market – a dilapidated old soldier’s settlement with massive potential – in one of Queensland’s hottest holiday locations.
Agent Anthony Silver of U2 Property Group Meridan Plains brought the property to market after discussions with several families that have lived for generations in Doonan which straddles the Sunshine Coast-Noosa border.
There are 322 acres in the $12.5m parcel at Doonan Bridge which is being sold by private treaty.
He listed it as a “pristine environmental wonderland” made up to two lots.
Lot 46 which is 176 acres was described as being “in its natural state from when time began”.
The second lot 45 was 146 acres which is where the original soldier settlement block was located.
The Soldier Settlement Scheme was managed by state governments after World War 1 and II, with Queensland’s scheme beginning in 1916 and seeing 705,565 acres taken up in 2000 settlement farms, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The original soldier settlement block at Doonan belongs to the Gray family, whose father, a returned serviceman, made a life there after the war by creating a dairy for the region.
“Their father, a returned serviceman, started there from scratch,” Mr Silver said.
“They became the local dairy. The soil is not fantastic for dairying, but at the time you couldn’t race up to Maleny for milk. There’s a beautiful little old house there, old dairy sheds, old meat safes, big old trees. It is just beautiful, it really is.”
Mr Silver said along with the old homestead and outbuildings, there was about 30 acres of grassland on the old soldier settlement with the rest under native flora and fauna.
“Lots of adjoining properties have sold for $40,000 an acre,” Mr Silver said. “That’s how we came up with the price for it.”
He said there was potential to make the land holding even bigger, with another four lots across the road also exclusively listed with his agency made up of 367 acres.
All up, he said, that would be a 692 acre proposition for an enterprising developer or millionaire looking for a rambling estate on the Sunshine Coast.
“You’ve got koala habitat overlay, riparian forest, a little bit of flood zone … I’ve had environmental scientists, town planners, and a pre-lodgement assessment meeting with council.”
He said 692 acres would be up around $27m for all the land that was on the market there.
“That’s a lot to you and I but not to these developers that have a vision and a plan to do it.”
But, he said, “The buyer doesn’t have to buy all. The first 322 acres are quite plausible for a wealthy southerner to have a blank canvas for a country estate just 10 minutes to the beach, with beautiful coastal breezes, rural views, in and among the wildfire.”
Mr Silver has had about 20 enquiries about the property, some of which was curiosity over the price.
He said there was strong potential for the acreage site. “When you look at the map, suburbia is encroaching.”