High vis has high hopes for Bridge Rd store

High-vis work wear retailer RSEA Safety is set to open in the former furniture showroom at 345 Bridge Road, next door to the town hall.

Despite the many empty shops on Bridge Road, this 979 square metre space attracts a disproportionate amount of attention, because Yarra City Council paid $14 million for the three-level building in 2013 – as a “strategic investment”.

The showroom has been empty since furniture retailer Plush moved early this year. Upstairs, council workers and the Royal Flying Doctors Service usually fill out the desks.

High-vis work wear retailer RSEA Safety will open at 345 Bridge Road.
High-vis work wear retailer RSEA Safety will open at 345 Bridge Road.Credit:

In September 2019, council announced JB Hi-Fi was taking it but the electronics retailer bailed and found a foothold in Victoria Gardens.


Rent is understood to be around $600 a sq m but CBRE agents Jason Orenbuch and Zelman Ainsworth, who leased the property, declined to comment on the details.

It’s a strategic shift for RSEA which usually has bigger outlets in the outer suburbs but the crisis in bricks and mortar is opening up new territory.

“The increase in supply in the metro strips means there are opportunities for large format retailers to secure spaces where their customers live and work,” Mr Ainsworth said.

East end

At the Hawthorn end of Richmond at 613-617 Bridge Road, the deceased estate of racing car driver Ray Christie, is selling a property that had been in the family for more than 70 years.

The 710 sq m shop is leased to tiles retailer Perini and returns $148,270 a year. It’s on a 648 sq m site on the corner of Palmer Street and Jones Place. Current planning guidelines allow for a minimum eight levels on the site.

Gorman Commercial agents Tom Maule and Stephen Gorman are handling the November 18 auction and are expecting around $5 million.

Billionaire’s servo

The 7-Eleven owning billionaire Withers family is selling a development site in South Yarra – the old servo on the corner of Argo Street at 290-294 Punt Road.

Records show RG Withers Holdings bought the 1525 sq m site from another arm of the empire – 7-Eleven Holdings – back in 2005 for $1.8 million.

The Withers family has reaped more than $150 million from the sale of 7-Eleven freeholds in the past year.

Expressions of interest in the key site close on November 26. It’s expected to fetch more than $3.5 million.

Gross Waddell agents Danny Clark and Alex Ham have the listing and Charter Keck Cramer are acting as transaction managers.

Riverside sale

Gross Waddell has also listed a riverside property in Abbotsford for the family of Australia’s chief science officer Alan Finkel.

A 2520 sq m industrial holding at 53-59 Church Street and 4-6 Mayfield Street is going to auction on November 25 and is expected to sell for more than $7 million.

Three tenants lease the buildings which return $217,500 a year.

Mr Finkel’s parents had owned the property for decades. Agents Michael Gross and Mr Ham declined to comment.

In a landmark move for the agency, founded by Michael Gross and Andrew Waddell 25 years ago, some of its agents have taken an equity stake in the business.

Veteran Barry Novy is now executive chairman and Danny Clark, Alex Ham, Andrew Greenway and Raoul Salter have all bought into the business.

Developer deals

In a hopeful sign for the future, a 533 sq m development site in East Caulfield, permitted for student accommodation, has sold for $2.22 million this week.

15 Dudley Street, Caulfield East.
15 Dudley Street, Caulfield East.Credit:

A Melbourne-based Chinese developer has bought the site at 15 Dudley Street which is located halfway between Caulfield and Carnegie railway stations.

Stonebridge Property Group’s Chao Zhang and Julian White negotiated the deal.

“The buyer was a Melbourne based Chinese developer who had a positive outlook for Melbourne,” Mr Zhang said. “They were looking for a site around Monash University, close to the train station and within easy walking distance to the University.”

Meanwhile, another locally based Chinese developer has paid $3,628,888 for a development site at 246 Highbury Road, Mount Waverley.

Gorman Commercial agents Stephen Gorman and Jonathon McCormack did the deal with Corser Property Consulting’s Bernard Corser.

The 2310 sq m site has plans and a permit for 10 two-storey townhouses.

Suburban office co-working office space has grown nearly 12 per cent to a total 187,790 square metres during this very difficult year, according to new data from Colliers International.

While nearly 80 per cent is in the CBD, new office use trends post-COVID suggest growth is going to come in the fringe and suburbs.

Colliers agent Rob Joyes said metropolitan co-working spaces had bounced back a lot faster than in the CBD because they were closer to where staff live.

“Small companies realise working from home can be quite disruptive, but they know they can secure a 12-month tenure and then re-evaluate their plans,” Mr Joyes said.

Metropolitan co-working has bounced back faster than the CBD.
Metropolitan co-working has bounced back faster than the CBD.Credit:Alex Reinders

And re-evaluate, they do. Mr Joyes and colleague Ash Dean have done two suburban leasing deals for businesses moving out of co-working spaces and into their own digs.

Developer Blueways Group has taken 625 sq m of office at Chadstone Tower One on a seven-year lease paying $600 a sq m net – a new benchmark for suburban office leasing. Instacare has leased 400 sq m at Caribbean Park in Scoresby. Both parties previously occupied desks at Waterman Business Centres.

Creative Cubes

Meanwhile Peregrine Projects has broken ground on its new office project at 88 Langridge Street, Collingwood and is looking for tenants to flesh out more than half the space.

Co-working group Creative Cubes has pre-leased three levels – 45 per cent – of the nine-storey 7000 sq m office building.

Peregrine boss Joe Chahin said early interest for the space has come from parties keen to make use of the flexible space provided by Creative Cubes.

“People don’t want long term leases on large spaces and they’re looking to dial up or dial down how much they need for special projects,” Mr Chahin said.

Gray Johnson and Colliers International are handling the enquiries.

Retailer Woolworths has leased the 795 sq m shop at the foot of PDG’s Elizabeth North project, which is to be home for vaccines-maker CSL, Toyota and University of Melbourne’s Trinity College.

The development at 611-681 Elizabeth Street will be completed in two stages from mid 2021 to 2022 and will link the uni and bio-medical precinct with the city. The new Parkville station will also be in striking distance.

The Woolworths deal was struck by Colliers International’s Adam Lester and Jennifer Tai.

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