The Canberra Raiders are the new owners of the former Canberra Milk factory near Fyshwick, in partnership with a local developer.
Developer Doma Group confirmed it teamed up with the Raiders Group to purchase the collection of buildings at 2-8 Mildura Street, Griffith.
It is understood the sale price was about the mid-$20 million range.
Seller Bega Group listed the five Ken Oliphant-designed buildings for sale in August, with price expectations of about $20 million.
A spokesperson for Doma confirmed the groups had teamed up for the purchase in November.
"The partnership is excited to explore the potential of the heritage buildings located on the site whilst also working through a broader master plan," the spokesperson said.
Canberra Milk has a long history with the Canberra Raiders, having sponsored the NRL team since 1982.
"The Milk" has become the unofficial team name, while the Raiders' jerseys with "Canberra Milk" emblazoned on the front have earned cult status among supporters.
The site falls within the ACT government's East Lake place plan, which sets out a vision to redevelop The Causeway, a historic workers' settlement, and the surrounding area into a mixed-use precinct.
The plan, which was released in March 2023, includes provisions for an "innovation precinct" and business hub around Mildura Street.
It's unclear what type of development Doma and Raiders Group are planning for the site or what uses might be permitted under the new plan. But neither are strangers to development.
Meanwhile, Raiders Group developed a residential project in Braddon next to the NRL team's headquarters.
No immediate plans to begin construction
All but one of the Mildura Street properties were sold with vacant possession. Block five is currently used by Bega and will remain tenanted on a five-year lease.
The Doma spokesperson said there were no immediate plans to commence construction and confirmed Bega Group would remain operating from the site.
Included in the sale was the iconic dairy factory and office building, free-standing warehouses, loading bays, refrigerated facilities and the original caretaker's cottage.
Matthew Winter and Paul Powderly of Colliers led the expressions of interest campaign.
Together the buildings span about 20,000 square metres.
The factory and the caretaker's cottage are listed on the ACT Heritage Register.
"The three dairy buildings demonstrate a collective work designed by a single architect, Ken Oliphant, who was highly regarded and a prominent community figure throughout the middle of the twentieth century," the ACT Heritage Register states.
Factory had not operated at capacity for 'some time'
The heritage-listed dairy farmers factory was the last remaining local milk processing plant before doors closed this year. Production was shifted to Penrith, in Sydney's western suburbs.
The closure affected the jobs of 19 employees, who were offered redundancy, redeployment or assistance with "job transition".
In a statement in March, Bega Group said the Griffith plant had not been operating at capacity for "some time".
"Given there are no dairy farms in Canberra, milk was traditionally sourced from outside the ACT and transported to Griffith for production, often bypassing more efficient and sustainable production sites like Bega's Penrith facility," the company said.
The group said it was committed to continuing its "strong local presence in Canberra" by retaining a local sales office and distribution centre and renewing long-standing community and sporting partnerships.