Qantas building in Cairns snapped up
THE iconic former Qantas travel building in the heart of Cairns has been bought by CBD businessman and property investor Duane Cash.
Mr Cash, who owns the nearby Lake St buildings that form the new Cultural Place Torres Strait Island and Aboriginal tourism experience, plans to turn half of the ground-floor building into a tattoo parlour to complement the other he operates in Abbott St.
He said he paid $1.42 million in a bidding war with another CBD businessman.
"But I really wanted the property. It's the best corner in town," Mr Cash said.
"The valuation came in at the lower end of the market.
"It can only go up.
"In a good market it would have gone for $2.2 million."
He said it was an ideal location for one of his tattoo businesses.
"Tattooing has been good to me. I've been in the business for 29 years since doing an apprenticeship when I was 15," Mr Cash said.
"I was the only tattooist in town for 18 years."
Mr Cash said it was a prime spot with a large amount of pedestrian traffic and near to potential customers at nightclubs and backpacker hostels.
He said he had a strong belief in the Far North as a place to invest.
He also owns properties at Earl-ville and on the Tableland.
"I have been buying property since I was 21 and I’m here to stay," Mr Cash said.
He said he would split the downstairs area into two sections, 100sq m for a tattoo parlour and another 100sq m for a tenant which could be a medical practice, a dentist, a travel or tour booking
Mr Cash said he would use the office space upstairs but was open to tenancy suggestions.
He said he would spend at least $50,000 on a new state-of-the-art tattoo parlour with the latest technology, mirrors and marble flooring.
"I'll be inviting guest artists for the opening launch from the US and Canada as well as the best in Australia," Mr Cash said.
He said he hoped to open in about two months' time and would employ extra staff for the seven-day, 10-hour-a-day business.
CBRE Cairns managing director Danny Betros said the building, the last of non-airport assets owned by Qantas in Australia, was well received in the market.
He said there were 20 inquiries and five offers with the final negotiations between Mr Cash and another city businessman.
"The price reached expectations. It's a very solid building in excellent condition," Mr Betros said.
"It can only add value to Mr Cash’s properties next door."
Qantas had operated a travel agency in the building for at least 25 years.
It went on the market earlier this year with expressions of interest closing on March 28.
Anyone interested in being a tenant can contact Mr Cash on 0411 469 907.
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Top location: CBD businessman Duane Cash outside the former Qantas travel building in the heart of Cairns. The property investor paid $1.42 million for the building. Picture: MIKE WATT