Sydney-based Fortis swoops on Richmond development site

Fortis director Charles Mellick said plans for a fresh 7000-square-metre, 10-storey project will be submitted to planning next year with construction anticipated for 2022.

Fortis, the development arm of boutique fund manager Pallas Capital, has $800 million worth of projects underway in Melbourne, including a new South Melbourne headquarters and a redevelopment of the industrial corner of Smith Street and Alexander Parade in Clifton Hill.

Auction action

The first post-lockdowncommercial auction took place on Wednesday at Perini Tiles showroom, at the west end of Bridge Road.

The auction, managed by Gorman Commercial agents Stephen Gorman and Tom Maule, attracted about 100 people who were spread out, using witches hats as a distance guide.

The first post-COVID commercial auction took place on Wednesday at Perini Tiles showroom.

The first post-COVID commercial auction took place on Wednesday at Perini Tiles showroom.Credit:

Seven bidders competed for the 613-617 Bridge Road property, which sold for $5.575 million – reflecting a yield of 2.8 per cent.

Shortly after, Teska Carson’s Matthew Feld and Michael Ludski held an auction at 466-468 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick. Four bidders competed for the property, which sold for $2.33 million – $830,000 more than the reserve. A local investor/developer bought the 198-square-metre corner site.

Foti in Flockhart

The Foti family is selling a development site down by the Yarra River at 42-50 Flockhart Street, Abbotsford.

42-50 Flockhart Street in Abbotsford is being sold by the Foti family.

42-50 Flockhart Street in Abbotsford is being sold by the Foti family. Credit:Artist’s impression

The 404-square-metre site has 140 metres of river and park frontage and comes with a permit for a five-level office building.

Records show the Foti family, through investment vehicle Stock Corporation, paid $6.2 million for the car park in early 2018 and obtained a permit late in 2019.

JLL agents Josh Rutman, James Thorpe, Steve Kelly and Mingxuan Li are handling expressions of interest and are expecting around $7 million.

Across the street, Forza Capital has applied to build an 11-storey office tower above the 470-bay car park it bought two years ago.

Owner occupiers

There is plenty of change afoot in Richmond with several owner-occupiers calling time on offices they’ve held for many years.

Psychiatrist Andrew Stocky is selling his former office building at 266-272 Church Street near the Bridge Road intersection.

The 623-square-metre office is on a 535-square-metre piece of land on the corner of Berry Street. It is zoned Commercial 1 and is expected to fetch around $5-5.5 million.

Teska Carson agent Matthew Feld and Morley Commercial agent Josh McMullin are handling expressions of interest, which close on December 9.

Also recently listed, on the west Richmond border with East Melbourne, is architect Gregory Burgess’ warehouse office at 10 York Street. The 580-square-metre twin-peaked roof warehouse was built in the 1920s on a 893-square-metre lot. It’s divided into three spaces, including studios, meeting rooms, open plan work spaces and an apartment.

Nelson Alexander Commercial agents Arch Staver and Damien Theisz are handling expressions of interest, which close on December 14. It’s expected to fetch around $4-$4.4 million.

It is currently only partly leased but could earn up to $150,000 if fully occupied.

Gallery HQ

The Alcaston Gallery will be establishing a new headquarters in a strata office at 50 Market Street.

50 Market Street, Melbourne: the site of Alcaston Gallery's new HQ.

50 Market Street, Melbourne: the site of Alcaston Gallery’s new HQ.Credit:

The gallery’s owner, Beverley Knight, told Capital Gain finding “beautiful new office space” for her staff was a priority this year.

Alcaston Gallery must move from 11 Brunswick Street by February next year. Ms Knight said a new gallery will open in April but she’s not yet ready to reveal the location of her new space.

Colliers International agent George Davies, who sold the property with Chris Ling and Anthony Kirwan, said there were 80 enquiries and three unconditional offers made for the office, which sold for $850,000.

Mr Davies said it set a new $9444-a-square-metre record for the building on the corner of Flinders Lane opposite Cbus Property’s new Collins Arch towers.

Since inspections reopened last month, several strata offices have sold, many to owner-occupiers keen to get ready for 2021.

In Docklands, several suites have sold in 838 Collins Street next to Myer’s head office.

Tiga Commercial sold six adjoining offices – 1.16-1.21 – to a Brisbane-based business keen to establish a Melbourne outpost.

Tiga Commercial agent Martin Leong, who struck the new agency’s first deal with David Sia and Evolve’s Gary Cakir, said the vendor was a Chinese investor who returned home to China and sold at a loss.

Records show the Changsha-based Fei Chen bought the six offices, covering 380 square metres, in 2014 for $2.94 million and sold this year for $2.6 million.

Colliers have also sold four suites in the building. Three offers were made for 2.24-2.26, which sold for $1.128 million to a local investor.

Separately, another 80-square-metre suite on level 2 – 2.16 – sold for $610,000 to an architect moving from South Yarra.

Three shops

A development site in Hampton that collapsed property developer Steller couldn’t make work in 2018 is now back on the market.

Six shops at 466-472 Hampton Street in the Hampton Hill precinct are expected to fetch more than $8 million.

The 1358-square-metre site has rear access from both Mills and Willis streets. It’s zoned Commercial 1 and could be developed up to four storeys, which would provide bay views.

The first three shops at No.466-470 were sold by Steller in early 2019 for $3.93 million. The new owners have since joined forces with the neighbours to sell an altogether bigger and more attractive development site that will transform the low-rise village.

Steller, run by Nicholas Smedley and Simon Pitard, had already developed other projects along Hampton Street. The company collapsed in June 2019, leaving more than a dozen development sites to repay $285 million owed to funders.

Fitzroys agents Mark Talbot and Shawn Luo are handling expressions of interest, which close next Thursday.

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Lendlease, Aware Super team up for $1b Brooklyn, NYC development

Global property group Lendlease teamed up with Aware Super to purchase a strategic stake in the $1 billion Greenpoint urban development in Brooklyn, New York City

Under the plan, Lendlease will take a 25 per cent stake in the development and Aware Super, previously known as First State Super, will have the lions’ share of 75 per cent. Overall the partnership has bought a 90 per cent stake in the 2.6 hectare site with the current owner, London-listed private equity firm, David Zalaznick’s JZ Capital Partners retaining 10 per cent.

Greenpoint Neighborhood Lendlease, in partnership with superannuation funds, Aware Super, has bought a 90 percent interest in a 2.6-acre site at 1 Java Street in Brooklyn, New York

Greenpoint Neighborhood Lendlease, in partnership with superannuation funds, Aware Super, has bought a 90 percent interest in a 2.6-acre site at 1 Java Street in Brooklyn, New YorkCredit:David Joshua Ford

Lendlease chief executive Steve McCann told investors at a strategy day in August that he intended to move the company towards more dual-investment projects to generate long term recurring income from rent collection and reduce the risks of developments.

Mr McCann said the deal aligns with Lendlease’s strategy to grow its development business in targeted US cities. Since 2015, the development pipeline has grown to about $30 billion, across New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston.

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Seniors living development plans at Waverley Bowling Club

One of the most sought-after sites in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, the Waverley Bowling Club, is being offered for sale with an approval to construct apartments, aimed at the seniors living demographic, that will also include a new clubhouse and bowling greens.

The site is owned by the Eastern Suburbs Leagues Club which has been in long and fervent discussions with its members in order to proceed with the sale. It has said a sale of the land was needed to ensure the survival of the club.

Artist impression of proposed development of the Waverley Bowling Club, Waverley, Sydney

Artist impression of proposed development of the Waverley Bowling Club, Waverley, Sydney

Under the development application there will be 55 apartments for senior living on an approved site totaling 10,646 square metres. No sale price was disclosed for the site.

JLL’s directors Simon Quinn, Ben Hunter and James Aroney have been appointed to sell the development at 163 Birrell Street, Waverley.

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Australian News

Don Bradman’s childhood cricket pitch under threat to make way for housing development

There is a concrete slab in Bowral that might look unassuming, but it holds a significant place in Australian history.

Southern Highlands locals say this is Sir Don Bradman’s childhood cricket pitch, the place the boy from Bowral first fell in love with the sport.

“It’s the key to unlocking his high school cricket years and gives context to the rise of Don Bradman in a town steeped in cricketing folklore,” researcher Nick Corbett said.

It was on the schoolyard pitch next to the church that his prodigious talent was groomed.

“He came across here with the school team and the headmaster and they played scratch matches every Wednesday afternoon,” Mr Corbett said.

Those schoolyard hits in the 1920s gave rise to Bradman’s unbeaten Test average of 99.94. To this day, the next best is in the 60s.

The pitch was laid in 1892 by the Bowral Cricket Association and was closed to the public in 2014.

An old image of the Bowral Cricket Association
An image of local Bowral cricketers, including Don Bradman’s cousin Jim Cupitt (left, kneeling).(Supplied: Bernadette Mahoney)

Back in the 1990s, one of Bradman’s school mates shared his account of being in awe of his talent.

“I played cricket with Don Bradman, we played at the back of the Church of England there,” childhood friend Harry Smith said in 1994.

“We were right in the outfield. Bradman would hit one there and you’d run over and he’d beat you to the boundary. Bradman was all over you.”

A woman smiles for the camera in a study surrounded by books.
Bernadette Mahoney pictured at Donald Bradman’s childhood home in Bowral.(ABC News: Chloe Hart)

Historian Bernadette Mahoney has interviewed several of Bradman’s family and friends.

“Classmate Jim Brenning told me the exact same stories as Harry Smith. When they played the Mittagong school in a competition Bradman got so many runs the other headmaster announced that they would play Bowral Public School again — but only if Bradman didn’t play,” she said.

Pitch set to be redeveloped

The future of the historic pitch, however, looks bleak because of a proposed residential development.

A sign sits on a fence.
The Wingecaribee Shire Council is opposing the development of the site.(ABC News: Chloe Hart)

Developers want to build 13 townhouses on the site.

The Wingecaribee Shire Council now opposes the redevelopment of the 19th-century wicket on Edward Street in Bowral.

“Once the significance of the cricket pitch was established, [the] council proceeded to heritage list the site, which occurred in April 2017,” a Wingecaribee Shire Council spokesman said.

“The Bowral concrete cricket pitch is rare, not only within Wingecarribee but within the state, and also highly likely played on by Sir Donald Bradman as a child.”

But developers are pushing ahead, taking the matter to the Land and Environment Court, and the commissioner will be on site for mediation at the end of September.

An aerial view of the cricket pitch used by Don Bradman during his childhood in Bowral on September 17, 2020.
There are hopes the cricket pitch will be preserved.(ABC News: Elena de Bruijne)

The passionate cricket community is worried that an important slice of Australian sporting history could be lost.

“Given its history and significance, I would think there is a strong case for suing the people who made the application to build on the land for a crime against Australian cultural heritage,” English TV presenter and cricket author Michael Parkinson said.

Parkinson laughed when he heard it was subject to redevelopment.

“Its significance is of international importance in the history of the game and the life of the greatest batsman of them all,” he said.

“There could rarely have been a more insensitive, ignorant application in any planning application of my experience.”

Michael Parkinson wears a checked suit, blue shirt and glasses.
Michael Parkinson says the pitch has historic significance.(ABC News: Shaun Kingma)

Ms Mahoney agrees the remnant should be preserved.

Mr Corbett said future generations might question the decision not to preserve the site.

“It would be incredibly devastating, in years to come people will ask us why — why did we let that go, this is a really important site.”

Keeping the Bradman legend alive

Don Bradman doing batting practice
An image of Don Bradman believed to have been taken in 1932.(Supplied: Sam Hood)

Cricket is still a huge part of the Southern Highlands fabric, and tourists come from everywhere to visit Bradman’s home town.

“It’s amazing to see how many of the subcontinent visitors come to Bowral as a cricket mecca, so it really is somewhere on the cricketing map that we need to promote and protect and are very passionate about,” Bowral resident and former Test umpire, Simon Taufel, said.

Supporters believe the pitch could become an ensemble with the Bradman Oval and museum, and his nearby childhood home on Sheppard Street.

Ms Mahoney has an idea of her own to help the legacy live on.

“I envisage this pitch being saved, the land planted with a garden and an area where anyone can come and quietly read about what happened,” she said.

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Pallas on the prowl for development sites

Mr Mellick said it would be redeveloped into a $27.5 million office.

“Premium office space in South Melbourne is in great demand. We’ve already leased out 60 percent of Pallas House through off-market deals over the past four months.

The deal was negotiated by Appel Property’s Ben Appel and Tomassi & Co’s Alby Tomassi.

Mr Appel said his family’s time as property developers had come to an end and the building had reached the “functional obsolescence” stage.

The move comes as Pallas’ property development arm Fortis received approval to go ahead with its three-story luxury apartment project in Brighton.

Fortis settled on the development site at 10-12 Male Street and 41A Black Street in February, paying $14.25 million.

Construction is expected to start next month. Mr Mellick said the 16-unit project would be similar to its developments in Sydney’s Rose Bay which had sold quickly during the pandemic.

A large project in Clifton Hill dubbed The Foundry, is still in planning with Yarra City Council.

Call centre

Serco’s new call centre at Essendon Fields mops up the 6296 sq m space left over from the Good Guys at Lindsay Fox’s and Max Beck’s office park.

Serco is backfilling the 2.8 years left on the lease at 15 Vaughan Street, paying $2.3 million a year.

The Australian arm of the British outsourcing services company is running call centre operations for the Federal Government’s Australian Tax Office, Centrelink, Medicare and other government agencies, including managing the JobKeeper program.

The Good Guys merger with JB Hi-Fi in 2016 resulted in the two companies giving up their suburban offices at Essendon and Chadstone Shopping Centre and meeting in the middle – the IBM building at Southgate.

JLL agents Tim Sugar and Josh Tebb did the deal with Charter Keck Cramer acting for the Good Guys.

Tatts it

In another sign of the times, the old news and Tatts agency at 511-513 Riversdale Road, Camberwell, has been given a new lease on life as a gym.

The 400 sq m shop has been leased by AX-listed Viva Leisure’s Hiit Republic for 10 years in a deal struck by CBRE agents Jason Orenbuch and Zelman Ainsworth.

The shops at the Junction, including the Curry House next door, sold last year for $4.65 million to a locally-based Malaysian investor. The vendor was Zagame Holdings.

The old news and Tatts agency at 511-513 Riversdale Road will become a gym.

The old news and Tatts agency at 511-513 Riversdale Road will become a gym.Credit:

Great Gatsby

Other new leases inked under lockdown include new furniture retailer Gatsby Living, which has taken space in the Northland Homemaker Centre.

The deal was negotiated by Leedwell Property’s Chris Parry, with Tom Perkins and Nick Segran, who said there was interest from a number of retailers for the space.

“We transacted an off market deal in a matter of weeks during stage four restrictions,” Mr Parry said.

“A number of large format retailers have had strong sales results and this has been underpinning activity,” he said.

Gatsby Living has taken a seven year lease on the 1120 sq m showroom – unit 15 at 19-33 Murray Road. Market rents are around $285-325 a sq m.

Let’s hope our future has more substance than the fragile glittery world of bootlegger Jay Gatsby, for whom F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby was named.

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Investors snap up child care centres and development sites for higher returns

Michael Vanstone, who heads up Burgess Rawson Sydney’s Childcare Team, said the milestone highlighted the strength of childcare as an investment class, both nationally and across New South Wales.

“Many aspects of the commercial property industry are as strong now as they were pre-COVID and early childhood education is a clear example of that,” Mr Vanstone said.

“Childcare centre yields have held firm in recent months despite the challenges of COVID-19 to the sector, with our latest childcare yields remaining consistent with those sold late last year.”

Burgess Rawson recently sold a G8 Education childcare centre in Horningsea Park, Sydney for $3.1 million at a 4.19 per cent yield and a childcare centre for $4.2 million at a yield of 6.98 per cent at Singleton, in the Hunter Valley, NSW.


Mr Vanstone added that a key factor to this asset class’ continued investor interest was the increasing demand and ongoing government support.

“The sector enjoys bipartisan federal government support, and if anything, COVID-19 has reiterated the importance government places on this sector, with some of the earliest specialist assistance packages directed to the industry,” he said.

Post-COVID, Mr Vanstone added he did not foresee the long-term investor demand for early childhood education abating.

On the development side of the ledger, the Byron Bay Holiday Village at 116-118 Jonson Street is for sale and is one of the last significant multi-storey developable sites in the heart of Byron Bay.

The local Walker Family built the property and while no price was revealed, similar sites have garnered about $20 million.

The 4282 square metre, local centre-zoned property will be marketed by John Musca of JLL hotels and hospitality group in conjunction with Elliott O’Shea of JLL metropolitan investments.

Owned by the Walker family for for 37 years, the business currently operates as the Byron Bay Holiday Village Backpackers, with a capacity of up to 200 guests, and was the first purpose-built backpackers in Australia when built in 1983.

Having sold the Beach Hotel in Byron for $104 million, Mr Musca noted that the measured approach to new development had helped in maintain the area’s unique coastal culture, while also amplifying the interest in those last remaining sites offering favourable zoning.

“Now recognised as Australia’s most expensive residential city in terms of median house prices, and with a recognised lack of large, mixed-use town-centre developable opportunities, subdued project pipeline is driving continued interest in the shire,” Mr Musca said.

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Australian News

Cricket Australia abandons Dukes ball for Sheffield Shield citing lack of spinner development

Cricket Australia has put its Dukes ball experiment on ice, deciding to use Kookaburra throughout the coming Sheffield Shield season as it seeks to help spinners develop.

CA had used a Dukes ball in the second half of Shield seasons since 2016-17, wanting players to prepare for the same pill they would encounter if selected on an Ashes tour.

The ploy was one of many pieces of the puzzle that helped Australia retain the Ashes in 2019, a feat that no Australian team had accomplished in England since 2001.

It is likely the British ball will be used again in Australia’s first-class competition whenever attention shifts to the Ashes tour that is currently scheduled for 2023.

Australia captain Tim Paine lifts the Ashes Urn as his Australian teammates smile, laugh and spray champagne. Streamers fly.
Australia retained the Ashes after the 2-2 draw in England.(AP: Kirsty Wigglesworth)

CA’s head of cricket operations Peter Roach noted “we see a definite opportunity to reintroduce the Dukes ball at some stage in the future”, but for now CA will stick with Kookaburra.

“The introduction of the Dukes ball has been a worthwhile exercise … we have been happy with how the ball has performed when used in Australian conditions over the past four seasons,” Roach said.

“We do, however, feel that reverting to one ball for 2020-21 will provide the consistent examination of our players over a full season that CA and the states are presently seeking.

“The Kookaburra is the ball used for international cricket in Australia and many parts of the world.”

Marnus Labuschagne leans back and plays a cut shot with a horizontal bat as Jonny Bairstow crouches behind him with gloves ready
Marnus Labuschagne had no trouble with the Dukes ball in England in 2019.(AP: Rui Vieira)

Of the 12 Test-playing nations, just England, Ireland and the West Indies use a Dukes ball in Test matches, with India alone in using the SG-brand ball.

Roach added that spinners in the “Sheffield Shield have been playing less of a role in recent seasons, most notably in games when the Dukes ball is in use”.

“We hope that the change to one ball with have a positive benefit here.”


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Local News - Victoria

New development plan for contentious St Kilda site ‘where ideas come to die’

The new $3.8 million proposal includes the creation of a plaza by closing the road in front of the theatre and linking the area with the public space outside Luna Park.

“Previous ideas have involved hundreds of millions of dollars and they have always gone wrong on the triangle, whereas this one is just … to provide a public open space,” Cr Gross said in a promotional video for the new forecourt.

An artist's impression of what ice cream and penguin shaped anti-terrorism bollards could look like at the site.

An artist’s impression of what ice cream and penguin shaped anti-terrorism bollards could look like at the site.

The road closure will see 20 car parks removed from a total of 767 in the precinct.

The project also includes a raised pedestrian crossing on Cavell Street, which runs between Luna Park and the Palais Theatre and new garden beds, trees and lighting.

Cr Gross said part of an “incredibly ugly” breeze block concrete fence that runs along the St Kilda Esplanade would be removed.

He told The Age he expected it to be a popular proposal, as it was modest and didn’t include any commercial developments.

Port Phillip councillor Dick Gross.

Port Phillip councillor Dick Gross.Credit:Simon Schluter

“There’s always controversy about anything to do with that site, but I did take comfort that some of the old warriors from past battles chimed in on Facebook and said they liked it,” he said.

“This is an iconic site. It’ll be a place where people can congregate.”

However, it’s not set in stone yet, with St Kilda residents set to have their say during a consultation period.

“You’d be mad not to be scared,” Cr Gross said.

The site in 1915.

The site in 1915.

If the consultation process goes smoothly, work is expected to take nine months to complete.

Port Phillip council will contribute $2.5 million to the redevelopment and an additional $1.3 million will be provided by the state government as part of its $154 million local parks program.


Some disruptions are expected during the forecourt’s construction, but visitors will still have access to the amusement park and theatre.

Cr Gross said there were still no plans for what could be built on the 418-space car park beside the theatre, across from the beach.

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New technique to identify genes implicated in the development of malignant brain tumor

Researchers at Uppsala University have developed a method for identifying functional mutations and their effect on genes relevant to the development of glioblastoma – a malignant brain tumor with a very poor prognosis. The study is published in Genome Biology.

The human genome consists of nearly 22,000 genes. Many studies have explored the nearly two per cent of our DNA that produces proteins.

Considerably less is known about the 98 per cent that does not encode protein. However, these non-coding regions contain important information and regulate whether a gene is active in different tissues, in different stages of development and in diseases such as cancer.

Cancer is caused by mutations that lead to uncontrolled cell division. One of the most aggressive types of cancer is glioblastoma, a form of brain tumor with a very poor prognosis. Relatively little is known about how mutations in non-coding regions drive glioblastoma.

To address this knowledge gap, researchers at Uppsala University have performed whole-genome sequencing of DNA in tumor tissues from patients with glioblastoma and analysed the identified mutations.

One of our key tasks was to identify functional mutations associated with regulatory elements and potential relevance to the development of cancer cells, and to distinguish them from all random variations without presumed significance.”

Karin Forsberg-Nilsson, Professor, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University

The researchers assumed that DNA sequences that have remained unchanged in mammals throughout evolution are likely to have important functions. Therefore, they intersected the thousands of mutations they had found with information about evolutionary conservation of the genetic regions where the mutations lie.

“We chose to focus on a subset of mutations in the best-preserved genetic regions that are likely to affect gene regulation,” says Professor Kerstin-Lindblad-Toh at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University as well as the Broad Institute (US).

The researchers validated their results using the gene SEMA3C, partly because they found a large number of mutations in non-coding regulatory regions near this gene and partly because previous findings, by others, suggest that SEMA3C is linked to a poor cancer prognosis.

“We studied how mutations in non-coding regions affect SEMA3C’s function and activity. Our results show that a specific, evolutionarily conserved, mutation in the vicinity of SEMA3C disrupts the binding of certain proteins whose task is to bind genes and regulate their activity,” says Forsberg-Nilsson.

The study also identifies more than 200 other genes enriched for non-coding mutations in the regions concerned. These likely have regulatory potential, thus further increasing the number of genes that are relevant to the development of brain tumours.

“Our results confirm the importance of the association between genetic alterations in non-coding regions, their biological function and disease pathology,” concludes Forsberg-Nilsson.


Journal reference:

Sakthikumar, S., et al. (2020Whole-genome sequencing of glioblastoma reveals enrichment of non-coding constraint mutations in known and novel genes. Genome Biology.

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Financiers sell Clint Bartram’s development site

Multiple offers were made for the property which has a permit for a four-level 18-unit project, Mr Hoath said.

The row of shops at 43-47 Simpson Street is tucked away between Dennis railway station and Westgarth Primary School.

Mr Bartram turned to property development after his AFL career finished in 2012 and has a second apartment project in Northcote at the old bank building at 340-342 High Street.

Old warehouse

A locally based Malaysian investor has paid $3.2 million for an old warehouse at 656-658 Elizabeth Street, near the Haymarket Roundabout.

656-658 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne.

656-658 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne.Credit:

CBRE agent Julian White, who negotiated the transaction with Nathan Mufale, Alex Brierley and Chao Zhang, said the property sold off-market on a 21-day settlement.

The single level Victorian-era warehouse is leased to Health Foods and Allied Products and sold on a pointy yield of 1.16 per cent.

But the lease expires at the end of August and the buyer has long-term development plans, Mr White said.

The 173-square metre property came with a permit for a 13-storey development designed by Kerstin Thompson Architects.

Back in the CBD centre, the building housing The Mess Hall restaurant at 51 Bourke Street has just come to market with price expectations of about $6 million.

“This will be the first test for prime city freehold in the COVID era,” Mr White said.

The Mess Hall has a six-year lease, with a six-year option on the 190-square metre double-storey property.

Student digs

Also for sale on the city fringe is 21-23 Anthony Street, a three-storey apartment building that comes with a permit for an 11-storey student apartment tower.

The off-market listing is expected to be converted into a formal campaign soon, according to agent Tiga Commercial’s David Sia and Martin Leong, who said it had attracted 100 enquiries already.

It’s expected to fetch more than $8 million for the vendor, Rufino Viilaluz’s Dysin Investment Partners, who paid $5.65 million for the 291-square metre site in 2017.

Dysin Investment Partners has a solid pipeline of suburban projects but this was the sole CBD development on its books.

Tiga Commercial is one of a bevy of new smaller agencies started by agents who recently worked at tier-one agencies, and its founders include CBRE’s Nick Hii, Patrick Sia and Melissa Sahin.

St Johns

Another former CBRE agent, Guy Naselli, has started up NSL Property Group and is marketing an office warehouse in West Melbourne with a three-year lease to St Johns Ambulance.

Records show Manfax Hardware and Paint mogul Robert Larsson bought the city-fringe warehouse in March 2019 for $5.04 million

Mr Naselli shares the listing of 6/88 Dynon Road with CBRE agents Bryce Paine and Tim Homes and is expecting more than $4.5 million for the 1400-square metre property. What a difference a year makes.

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