What’s planned for Coffs’ abandoned eyesores?
FROM the scene of a brutal murder to a site where many restaurants have gone to die, the region is littered with abandoned buildings.
While not always eyesores, we have taken a look at some of the more notable properties which have been dormant for years and discovered some might be closer to a new lease on life than ever before.
Derelict home - 47 Collingwood St, Coffs Harbour
The most notorious of abandoned properties in Coffs Harbour, 47 Collingwood St, sits in a prime jetty location and has been vacant for close to a decade.
In 2012 it was the scene of a brutal murder after a man who was squatting at the house was bashed to death following a row over the price of marijuana.
Three people were jailed and the site has since attracted complaints from community members who thought there were probably more appropriate places for kids to play than an asbestos-ridden former crime scenes.
However, a sale looks closer than ever and there are multiple offers on the table for the house which will have to be pulled down.
In total there is more than 1300 square metres of land within walking distance to the jetty precinct, shops and restaurants making it an incredible catch for the right buyer.
Earlier in the year the owner passed in the property at Auction after a winning bid of $1.6m.
Topolinos's Bistro - 4 Bray St, Coffs Harbour
Another site which has been empty for more than a decade, 4 Bray St has not been kind to hospitality businesses over the years with Sizzler and Topolinos the most famous names.
In 2006 there were rumours the owner, Australian Leisure Hotels group, would put in a Dan Murphys. Then in 2014 hopes for revitalisation were dashed when a development application for a motorcycle retailer hit the skids at the final turn.
Today, the site doesn't look as shocking as it was in the past when there were complaints about the graffiti, overgrown weeds and kids climbing onto the roof.
But in news sure to disappoint those roof-climbing graffiti artists, there is a chance there will be some action soon with ALH's head of corporate affairs, David Curry, saying the company were keen to redevelop the site and adjoining property.
"Our team has met with Council and is now preparing a detailed proposal which we hope will facilitate approval to rezone the land and allow this investment to occur," he said.
Glenreagh Railway Precinct - Glenreagh
This site is not so much an eyesore as a sad example of what happens when heritage isn't maintained.
There is a plethora of rail heritage in Glenreagh and the community has had to stand by and watch as a 103-year-old wooden railway station and other rail heritage items edge ever closer to oblivion.
Said to be infested with white ants and structurally unsound, there has been debate in the community about what to do with the building and whether or not it could be dismantled and relocated or restored in its current position.
The latter option has been opposed by the Australian Rail Track Corporation because of its proximity to a operational rail line but Glenreagh Rail and Station Preservation Society have put in a proposal to restore the site to its former glory.
On a positive note, there are exciting developments happening along the 35 km of abandoned railway line with the Glenreagh Mountain Railway revealing plans to establish a rail trail all the way up to Lowanna.
The line heads through tunnels, picturesque rainforest and what has been described as "Indiana Jones country" and early next year GMR are hoping to bring key stakeholders together to press on with this great concept.
Former Salvos buildings - 27-31 Gordon St, Coffs Harbour
For anyone living under a rock for the last few years, Council's plans for a Cultural and Civic Space meant that a number of buildings along the Gordon St site had to take one in the name of progress.
The former Salvation Army buildings sat vacant for years and had become a popular car park.
Finally, three years after Gordon St was chosen as the site for the CCS, the heavy machinery moved in and started laying waste to some of the most uninspiring buildings in the CBD.
From here the only way is up, with official approval of the CCS development application having come just yesterday, meaning the community is closer than ever to having the site redeveloped after close to a decade of debate.
Former RFS shed, 645 Upper Orara Rd, Upper Orara.
Less of an eyesore and more of a quaint nod to the region's rich history, the original Rural Fire Service shed in Upper Orara has also been semi-vacant for more than ten years.
Originally built to house just a firefighting trailer, it was later home to a makeshift truck before the new shed was built next to the community centre on Dairyville Rd.
It is currently being used for storage by conservation groups, who have added their own mark to the building with signage from the year 2000 documenting their five-year plan for restoring the nearby Orara river.