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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Fortis boosts portfolio with new assets as fringe markets gain traction

Fortis has projects currently under construction or under a planning proposal in Sydney worth about $900 million, with a further $800 million pipeline of work in Melbourne.

‘We have been taking a high-end residential approach to mixed-use retail and commercial.’

Fortis director Charles Mellick

Construction on the 386.72-square-metre site on Cooper Street, known as Gaden House, is expected to commence mid-2021 and will see it undergo a $6.5 million upgrade. The transaction was negotiated by Peter Leipnik and Alexander George of BadgerFox.

The heritage-listed site is a modernist masterpiece by architect Neville Guzman. Built in 1968, Gaden House currently comprises three storeys and has three street frontages on Cooper Street, Brooklyn Lane and Bay Street.

Fortis director Charles Mellick said despite people getting used to working from home, they are seeking out an office environment in which to collaborate with co-workers while still being close to home.

“Across all of the commercial we are developing we have included amenity such as landscaped rooftop gardens and end-of-trip facilities. We have been taking a high-end residential approach to mixed-use retail and commercial,” Mr Mellick said.

“We see this as an opportunistic time to purchase sites. They are not necessarily cheaper, but the fact they are even on the market is the opportunity.”

Across town, Sydney’s Burwood is also busy with the 31-storey tower at 7 Deane Street, reaching its highest point. It was constructed by builder TQM, it was “topped out” on Wednesday and will be the highest tower in the area.

Sydney’s Burwood CBD has a new addition with TQM Design & Construct’s 31-level tower at 7 Deane Street nearing completion.

Sydney’s Burwood CBD has a new addition with TQM Design & Construct’s 31-level tower at 7 Deane Street nearing completion.

Ray Younes of Younes Property said the Burwood site will comprise 154 units, being a combination of studios, one, two and three beds and two double storey 4-bed penthouses, with three levels of commercial and retail spaces and five levels of basement parking.

Coombes Property Group’s One Hurstville Plaza has also been topped out and will start fitting out the office component.

Coombes Property Group director Michael Coombes said the company was “delighted” to be delivering a high-quality mixed-use tower in such a strategic location in the Hurstville CBD.

“We have a lot of confidence in Hurstville and we’re particularly proud of the various social, economic and planning benefits our project will create,” Mr Coombes said.

Renders of the One Hurstville Plaza office tower, Hurstville, Sydney

Renders of the One Hurstville Plaza office tower, Hurstville, SydneyCredit:PTW Architects

JLL’s managing director and head of office leasing (NSW) Daniel Kernaghan and office leasing associate (NSW) Mike Urwin are leasing the tower. Ganellen has managed the construction of One Hurstville Plaza since October 2018.

It was designed PTW Architects and is a 14-storey mixed-use development with 8400 square metres of A-grade office space over 11 floors, 1800 square metres of retail space over three podium levels, and aims to achieve a five-star NABERS Energy rating.

“Significant investment by Georges River Council has turned the area into a vibrant business and cultural hub. Sustainable existing improvements to transport and future urban regeneration developments will be implemented,” Mr Kernaghan said.

“This well-connected location has a large catchment for talent. It is an exciting environment for business and the wider community to collaborate, meet and do business.”

Mr Urwin said Hurstville is transforming into one of Sydney’s cultural and corporate hubs, bringing new opportunities, changing the landscape and challenging perceptions.

“There is strong population growth forecast with an expected increase of 19.5 per cent between 2017 and 2036,” Mr Urwin said.

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