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The historic West End brewery site could be sold for about $80 million for the development of 480 high-quality residential units, a financial analysis of the site by United Workers Union has found.

If the sale price were achieved it would amount to 40 times the total amount being sought by about 100 striking workers at West End brewery, who have called on the brewery multinational Kirin, owners of Lion, not to abandon South Australian workers as they abandon South Australia.

The 160-year-old brewery site is on an 8-hectare site on Port Road at Thebarton, just across the River Torrens from the Adelaide Entertainment Centre and about 1.7 kilometres from Adelaide’s CBD.

The analysis finds the site is worth $78.8 million. It assumes the land would be used for 480 medium density, low-rise, high-quality apartments and calculates the price a developer would be willing to pay to develop the site and make a healthy return.

“The closure of West End Brewery is not only the closure of a site with historic links to South Australia and the loss of 100 South Australian jobs,” food and beverage coordinator Mark Whenan said today.

“What Lion doesn’t want you to know is that the closure of West End brewery is a massive $80 million property play that allows them to line executives’ pockets while short-changing South Australian workers.

“The amount workers are seeking as they face a historically bad jobs market is about 2.5 per cent of the windfall gains Lion stands to reap by selling the site – and that’s a very conservative valuation.

“It shows just how far Lion is willing to go in putting profits and executive salaries ahead of the legitimate claims of essential workers.

“Given the lucrative property play and Lion’s stated reason of declining beer sales for the closure, other Lion breweries in prime city sites – such as XXXX in Brisbane and James Boag’s in Launceston – must be slated for closure given what’s happening here.”


The area is currently designated for industrial use, though it is highly likely to be rezoned as ‘urban corridor,’ allowing mixed residential and commercial use.

The State Government and the local council, the City of West Torrens, have been encouraging residential development in the area since the tramline to Hindmarsh opened in 2010.

State Premier Steven Marshall has indicated support for rezoning the site to enable residential development.

South Australia’s ‘Urban Corridor Zones’ allow a mix of medium density (45-70 dwellings per hectare) and high density (70-200 dwellings per hectare) residential development, together with community and employment land uses, along the Port Road.

Full details of valuation available.