Bundaberg Harcourts to close

BUNDABERG Harcourts will close its doors on November 16 for the last time.

Businessman Nathan O’Neill took over the troubled franchise less than a month ago, after former chief executive officer Ben Gough left amid accusations of unfair dealings.

But on Friday, he told the News Mail that he would no longer be taking over the branch.

“As of the 16th of November, my company will not be trading as Harcourts,” Mr O’Neill said.

“It’s a change of direction — I have two businesses, and I’ve decided not to continue with Harcourts at Bundaberg.”

He said all remaining staff had been notified, and the premises would be vacated for new tenants.

“We had control of the franchise for about three weeks,” Mr O’Neill said.

“It’s sad, but it was just one of those things — it was a personal decision.”

A mystery developer from Brisbane has been touted as the next person to take over the building.

According to a staff member, the businessman plans to combine the Harcourts office with the adjacent Go Rentals leasing agents, and create a new company.

Scott Vinson is currently the manager of Go Rentals, but will be moving to the new company when it opens within the next six weeks.

“The new company name is likely to be 1800 RENT,” Mr Vinson said.

“It will focus on the property management sector.”

However, Mr Vinson described the new business partner as having a strong background in development.”

“I wouldn’t rule out a move into the development or sales markets in the future — we like to leave all doors open for business opportunities,” he said.

“We are looking at expanding the venture to a national level, starting in Bundaberg.”

Mr Vinson said some staff from the existing business would be kept on, but final details were yet to be determined.

“Go Rentals will still be operating, but it will get re-branded with a new name,” he said.

While he remained tight-lipped on the identity of the businessman, Mr Vinson let slip that the man was originally from Bundaberg.

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