Two years after it hit the market before being withdrawn, a unique city development site of seven neighbouring properties that took the vendor 31 years to amalgamate has found a buyer.
Octogenarian businessman John Conroy and another family member are understood to be banking about $27 million from the sale to local apartment developer Perri Projects, a diversified company which also has a successful food importing division.
The low-rise offices and warehouses, not protected by a heritage overlay, are spread across 1543 square metres of Capital City 1 zoned land covering 134-148 Little Lonsdale Street and 17-23 Bennetts Lane, next door to the famous former jazz club which closed in 2015.
Forming an L-shape, the holding has a third street frontage (to Davisons Place). Also close to the State Library, China Town, RMIT and retail centres Emporium and QV and the Melbourne Central train station, the properties are leased to various tenants – including the Sidney Myer Fund and Myer Foundation – but will be vacant by the end of next year. Following that the sites are expected to make way for a skyscraper.
Alexander Robertson’s Kristian Peatling and Warwick Bramich, the marketing agents, declined to comment.
The deal continues a trend of city development sites which failed to sell in 2015 and 2016, finding buyers in the buoyant market.
In June it was reported a five-storey office on a 904sq m plot at the corner of Flinders and Highlander lanes was selling for $20 million a year after hitting the market.
Also that month, it was revealed ex-Toll Group chief Paul Little’s development company was paying adult industry entrepreneur Peter Iwaniuk some $30 million for a 1187sq m plot at 9-27 Downie Street. The site, offered with a permit for a 30-level, 255-unit residential tower, first hit the market last year.
Education entrepreneur Shesh Ghale bought a city site that failed to sell following a 2015 campaign, outlaying some $30 million for the ex-Sir Charles Hotham Hotel, on a high-profile 879sq m plot at the north-east corner of Flinders and Spencer streets.
In May prominent QC Stuart Morris banked a reported $30 million selling an Ivanhoe East “super site” of 14 neighbouring homes, which, like the Conroy holding, was created over more than a decade.
Karen Martini’s Mr Wolf building for sale
A trophy asset – while its high-profile tenant occupies the space – has been listed for sale in bayside St Kilda.
Number 9 Inkerman Street – otherwise known as Karen Martini’s Mr Wolf bar and restaurant – is expected to sell for more than $1.25 million.
The TV chef, cooking show judge and author has just signed a five-year lease for the 130sq m premises at the ground level of an apartment building. Martini then has two options to renew potentially until 2032.
Based on the asset’s annual rental return of $63,000, it is expected to trade on a net yield of 5 per cent or less.
Savills agents Jesse Radisich, Clinton Baxter and Mark Stafford are marketing the investment, which also includes a car space. Martini has leased the building since 2004.
n Armadale another retail asset tenanted to a high-profile occupant – Chris and Rebecca Judd who trade the clothing line Jagged – was listed for sale in May. This three-level building at 1033 High Street, with an office on the second floor and an apartment above, is owned by former Carlton and Fitzroy player Robert Walls.
Professor lists Caulfield North office
World renowned neurosurgeon and researcher Professor Richard Bittar is selling an office investment in Caulfield North. The triple-storey 796sq m building on a 503sq m parcel abutting Memorial Park, about 11 kilometres south-east of the CBD, is offered with a new five-year lease to Zaparas Lawyers.
With three car parks and returning a total of about $380,000 in annual rent, the building should sell for more than $6 million, sources say.
JLL’s Metropolitan Sales and Investment’s Marcus Quinn and Lincoln Reynolds, who declined to comment about the campaign, take 73 Kooyong Road to auction next month.
St Kilda Road full-floor strata fetches $8.5m
An investor is paying a speculated $8.5 million for a fully leased, full-floor strata office on the lower level of the Fawkner Towers building at 431 St Kilda Road.
The recently refurbished third floor space, covering 1664sq m, was offered with a 10-year lease to financial services company Bongiorno Group, commencing in April 2017. Two storage cages and 24 secure car parks – leased to Bongiorno – are included as part of the investment.
Based on the annual rent of $600,000 per annum, the asset is exchanging hands on a net yield of about 7.1 per cent.
Lemon Baxter’s Paul O’Sullivan and Jay Pavey declined to comment on the campaign. The office is at the north-east corner of Slater Street within footsteps of Fawkner Park.
Elsewhere in the area, billionaire trucking magnate Lindsay Fox recently won approval to replace his office headquarters at 493 St Kilda Road with an apartment building.
Last November retail billionaire Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments paid $55 million for a vacant eight-level office at 457 St Kilda Road, which backs onto Fawkner Park.
Bloom family lists another valuable retail corner
The Bloom family is continuing to reweight its substantial property portfolio, putting a prominent corner site in the ritzy south-east suburb of Malvern to auction next week.
The 860sq m double-storey building with no garaging – but adjoining a large council car park – occupies a 430sq m site at the corner of Glenferrie Road and Llaneast Street, within a busy retail hub.
Offered as an investment and split into six tenancies, occupants include listed companies Optus and Flight Centre. In total, the asset returns annual rent of $271,530 and is expected to sell for more than $6.5 million, sources say.
With medium-term redevelopment potential, the site is also expected to pique builder interest.
Allard & Shelton’s James Gregson, Michael Ryan and Joseph Walton hold the listing for the 131-133 Glenferrie Road property.
Last week it was reported members of the Bloom family, which established the Portmans clothing brand in the 1940s, were also selling a former owner-occupied premises at the north-east corner of Bridge Road and Lennox Street, Richmond.
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