A former aged care centre owned by Broken Hill City Council in far west New South Wales has failed to sell at auction, with no bids for a starting price of $1.5 million.
The 40-bed Shorty O'Neil Village was closed by council last year after it was deemed financially unsustainable to operate.
It was closed as part of a major council restructure that also saw positions at the centre made redundant and almost two dozen staff leave other parts of organisation.
A community push to stop council selling the centre off was unsuccessful.
The bed licences were sold in November last year for $1.89 million, but there were no bids for the property itself at an auction on Wednesday.
A vendor bid of $1.3 million also failed to attract interest from the crowd of about 50 that watched the proceedings.
"By going to auction, council wanted to be sure that it was an open, transparent, fair process that all could see, and that process allows for negotiation after the event so that's where I think we'll head," general manager James Roncon said.
The real estate agency acting for council previously said there was a high level of interest in the site, including from corporate parties that wanted to return the property to use as an aged care facility.
The local CEO of Southern Cross Care, Allan Carter, warned in November that there could be a substantial cost involved in recommissioning the village.
"My caution would be whoever wants to do this needs to have a solid and sound ongoing capital base," he said.
Real estate agent Zeta Bennett said the failure to sell at auction likely means Shorty O'Neil Village would be sold privately.
"We'll now be talking to a range of buyers that have expressed interest that perhaps haven't been able to either purchase here at auction, or unwilling to," Ms Bennett said.
The property contains 40 one-bedroom units, two two-bedroom units, a community hall and some sheds.
"The property's been held over, but we'll certainly be following up all of that interest and I think we'll get an outcome for sure," Ms Bennett said.
Read more at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-02/council-owned-aged-care-village-at-broken-hill-fails-to-sell/7472404