Old museum site sells

BANKS which were owed tens of millions by businessman Con Constantine have clawed back some of the debt with the sale of two properties in Newcastle.

Real estate agents confirmed that wool sheds at 248 to 254 Hannell Street, Maryville, have sold for $15 million.

Another Constantine property, the Newcastle museum site on Hunter Street, has had conditional contracts exchanged although no further details were available last night.

Real estate agent Peter Dodds of Colliers International said the wool sheds at 248 to 254 Hannell Street had been sold to the Bradstreet Motor Group.

The head of the Bradstreet companies, Theodore ‘‘Boy’’ Bradstreet, said he had bought the 6.6-hectare site with the aim of using it as a new headquarters for Newcastle car dealerships.

The veteran motor trader said the final shape of the yard depended on negotiations with car companies, including Mazda, Holden, Subaru, Kia and Cherry. Mr Bradstreet said the site was ideal for the purpose.

The museum site sale was confirmed by a spokesman for insolvency specialist PPB Advisory, who were appointed by Westpac bank in August last year.

A report lodged last year with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission showed Mr Constantine’s company Almona Pty Ltd owed $46 million to Westpac and $7 million to the National Australia Bank.

A PPB Advisory spokesman declined to comment on the state of the Almona receivership but he confirmed the conditional sale of the museum site.

Mr Dodds said that although he was not handling that sale, the museum site was bounded by Hunter, Wood and Parry streets and the Pacific Highway.

It included all of the property except for the ABC studios, the Carlovers carwash and an antique shop on Hunter Street.

The Newcastle Herald was unable to obtain comment yesterday from Mr Constantine, who has other assets in Newcastle including the Store building across Hunter Street from the museum site.

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