By ERWIN CHLANDA
The fuel discounter United Petroleum has today bought the Heavitree Gap service station and supermarket for $1.85m from Australian Property Projects which own Aurora Resorts.
United has 358 outlets in Australia including 12 in the Top End.
Aurora’s Managing Director Ian Drummond says he understands United may also be looking at buying the Wycliffe Well roadhouse.
He says United will fit well into Aurora’s extensive adjoining residential development.
The company is converting the 80-room hotel next-door into 40 town houses, 20 of which are already sold, for prices between $335,000 and $368,000.
Ten more are nearing completion, and the remaining 10 are expected to be on the market by April.
Mr Drummond says all approvals are in hand for the development of 37 residential allotments which will take the place of the present caravan park.
He says the price per serviced block will start at $158,000 for blocks ranging in size from 450 to just over 2000 square meters.
This is the starting price for land as advertised at the new Kilgariff suburb which is further from the town centre and does not have the scenic appeal – with The Gap in view and the mountain range immediately to the north.
Mr Drummond says the future of the Tavern, which looks “a bit tired,” will in part depend on the clientele created by the residential development and the service station.
Ideas so far include a boutique bar and the type of meals not currently available in Alice.
United, which has its origins in 1981, says it became “vertically integrated in the mid 2000s via the acquisition of fuel import terminals” in several states allowing the company to “seek high quality petroleum products not only from refineries within our shores, but also via the importation of bulk tanker-loads.
“This has allowed the company to increase supply-chain security and provides pricing and negotiating benefits, giving the United Petroleum the ability to compete aggressively with major competitors,” says the website.
By ERWIN CHLANDA