The laser show that celebrated the 2012 unveiling of the refurbished Big Prawn at Ballina.
The laser show that celebrated the 2012 unveiling of the refurbished Big Prawn at Ballina. Doug Eaton

Ballina Bunnings? $21.3 million. The Big Prawn? Priceless

AN investor has forked out a whopping $21.3 million to buy the title to Ballina's new(ish) Bunnings store, but not even that could buy the town's beloved Big Prawn.

Property Observer has reported the sale saying a South Australian investor had bought the 2.5ha site, complete with its 10,928sqm hardware shop, for $11.3m more than the hardware giant spent on the site in 2011.

Still, it's a pretty good buy, considering Bunnings spent about $30 million developing the site.

In comparison to Bunnings' overall investment at Ballina and the cost of the site, the $400,000 spent by the hardware giant restoring the Big Prawn sounds like a drop in the ocean. However, the investor's spend wasn't enough to get the rights to the icon, with Bunnings to maintain control of, and responsibility for, the concrete crustacean.

Bunnings managed to pick up some serious kudos for itself in 2012 when it stepped in to restore the prawn, which had been languishing for years and had been slated for demolition by its former owner Santo Pennisi when he decided to close down the once mighty truck stop on the former Pacific Highway.


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