Clive Palmer has bought the Queensland Building in Townsville’s CBD at auction for $780,000.

It came just a week after the controversial business and political figure pledged $400 million to reopen the Queensland Nickel refinery at Yabulu outside Townsville in 2020.

Bidding started at $500,000 for the heritage building at 104 Flinders St, Colliers International Townsville agent Shaun McLaren said.

“We had a lot of interest in the property. It was a very well attended auction with more than 50 people present,” he said.

There were eight registered bidders and it took 15 bids to take the auction to the $780,000 sale price.

Mr McLaren described the sale as a great outcome for the Townsville commercial property market and a good sign of confidence in the city’s CBD.

The three-storey building on the south-east corner of Wickham and Flinders streets was constructed in 1892 as the head office for an insurance company.

It has office/retail space on the ground and first levels, with a two-bedroom residence on the top floor. 

Palmer snaps up prominent Townsville CBD site