Council has appointed Fitzroys Commercial Real Estate to undertake the sale of The Rex building following the resolution at the July Council meeting confirming the sale of the building.

Fitzroys is a Melbourne based commercial real estate agency with a large portfolio of high profile commercial clients. The property was advertised on their website this week with a closing date for Expressions of Interest of November 24.

Hepburn Matters, the local community group formed out of the Rethink The Rex campaign, has launched a petition calling upon Hepburn Shire Councillors to favourably consider bids to purchase The Rex that include provision for community use and heritage protections.

The EOI response form in relation to the sale of The Rex asks for a “High level description of proposed redevelopment of the Property”, along with “anticipated economic and social benefit of the proposed redevelopment of the Property to the local Daylesford community and response to Council Plan”.

The petition, which is available online, requests Hepburn Shire Councillors to weight bids for the sale of The Rex that take into account provision for community use, especially a cinema, along with a specific request that any proposed development in both Duke and Vincent Streets does not exceed the height of current buildings in the central part of Vincent Street.

President of Hepburn Matters, Jules McDonald, said it was important to keep the issue of community use and heritage protections at the forefront of Councillor’s minds when considering bids for the sale of The Rex.

“Until it is sold, The Rex is still a community owned asset,” McDonald said. “Our members have continually expressed their concern for the future of the building, particularly around the loss of the cinema and the heritage protection of the iconic building.

“In the engagement survey run by Council, 77% of Birch Ward respondents expressed their desire for The Rex to remain a Council-owned asset,” McDonald said. “With the building about to be offered on the open market, now is the time right time for community to again make representations to Councillors requesting them to give weight to community use and heritage protections when considering potential bids. Dollars should not be the sole consideration.”

The entire process associated with the sale is being overseen by an external probity advisor. Acting Shire CEO, Bruce Lucas, said that the individual weightings of the criteria considered by Council in assessing the EoIs will remain confidential.

Council has confirmed that any future use and works at the building will be subject to all heritage and land use planning controls. Relevant information on the heritage of the building has been provided to Fitzroys for prospective buyers.

Council will formally determine the sale of the building at a future Council meeting.