The Grafton St site of the historic Universal Hotel, which burnt to the ground in August 2009, will go under the hammer at the end of the month.
The Grafton St site of the historic Universal Hotel, which burnt to the ground in August 2009, will go under the hammer at the end of the month.

History is under the hammer

AFTER going up in smoke in 2009, the site of the historic Universal Hotel is up for auction.

Agent Leanne Cameron of LJ Hooker is handling the auction, which has been brought on by the mortgagee-in-possession exercising power of sale, understood to be the National Australia Bank.

The auction will take place at the LJ Hooker offices at noon on Saturday May 28.

Coming under the City East zoning, the block is available for both residential and commercial use.

“The block is 809sqm and, being about 350 metres from the CBD, it's prime real estate,” Ms Cameron said.

“It also has two-street access to both Grafton Street and to Oak Avenue.”

Being central, Ms Cameron hopes someone with “a business mind” snaps it up.

“The land could be redeveloped for a number of uses such as office space or commercial retail,” she said.

Southern Downs Regional Council planning director Ken Harris said land under the City East zoning could be used for a variety of possibilities.

“Council will need to look at how any planned development would impact on already-established neighbouring business and homes and their uses,” Mr Harris said.

“Another requirement is we now need about two metres of land free facing all laneways in the city for any possible development, such as road or footpath widening.”

The auction will be the third for Ms Cameron, with her previous two properties being sold under the hammer.

A Warwick Police Criminal Investigation Branch spokesman said the Universal Hotel fire case remained open and police still considered its cause to be arson, although no-one has yet been charged.

He said the exact cause of the fire remained inconclusive despite forensic examination by the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service.



STATE ELECTION 2020: Your must-read guide before voting

Premium Content STATE ELECTION 2020: Your must-read guide before voting

Your full breakdown of Southern Downs candidates’ campaigns, promises, and more...

Labor accused of giving voters’ private details to unions

Premium Content Labor accused of giving voters’ private details to unions

Personal details of a number of people has allegedly been shared

Huge new industrial facility to bring jobs to region

Premium Content Huge new industrial facility to bring jobs to region

50,000 tonnes of feedstock could be produced in the first year of this site just...