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Glenelg backpackers site up for grabs

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A heritage-listed former hostel and bar in Glenelg – colloquially known as ‘The Backpackers’ – has hit the market for the first time in more than two decades after travel restrictions forced the closure of the accommodation business in mid-2020.

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Located on the corner of Moseley and Elizabeth streets and just metres from the bustling Jetty Rd precinct, the 895sqm Victorian-style property is up for sale through expressions of interest until May 12.

Alexandra Terrace was built in 1878 as four separate terrace houses. The original owner lived in one of the three-storey terrace buildings for more than 20 years before the building first changed hands.

According to the City of Holdfast Bay, the property was among a number of similar buildings in the area at the time, many of which have since been demolished.

Each of the original terrace buildings had eight rooms, including a basement for servants, drawing room on the raised ground floor level and bedrooms on the top floor.

A council spokesperson said the locally-heritage-listed building fell into disrepair before it was restored in 1985 and converted into a hostel.

Selling agent Brad Allan, of Allan real estate agency, said the terrace buildings underwent further renovations in 1998 when it was bought by the late Alan Osborne.

Allan said while Osborne ran the backpackers for a period and continued to own the building, the business was subsequently sold.

“The Backpackers” shut its doors in the middle of last year after months of border closures and coronavirus restrictions that crippled many accommodation and hospitality businesses.

The building is being sold by the Osborne family.

Allan said the property had numerous guest rooms, a bar and entertainment area and could be used in a number of ways, including as student accommodation.

It comes as CBD hostel Backpack Oz shut up shop last week, with owner Sam Twelftree telling CityMag the small family business had been “squashed” by the pandemic, which had hindered the industry as a whole.

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