Mörk morphs old lift shaft into chocolate brew shop

An artisan hot chocolate retailer has leased a disused lift shaft in a laneway. It’s the most compelling sign so far that Melbourne is healing and the city is getting back to normal.

The tiny seven square metre space at the rear of 107 Elizabeth Street facing Equitable Place, has been leased to Mörk Chocolate Brew House.

The tiny seven square metre space is in Equitable Place.
The tiny seven square metre space is in Equitable Place.Credit:

The North Melbourne-based specialty hot chocolate retailer, which makes artisan single-origin beverages, has signed a lease for three years (with three more three-year options) at $17,000 a year gross.

Trading is expected to start in early December.


Fitzroys agent James Lockwood, who did the deal, said he had seven parties interested at one point, most of them coffee sellers.

“But hot chocolate is a real point of difference,” Mr Lockwood said. Indeed. During lockdown Mr Lockwood suggested the landlord might want to cut a hole in the old lift shaft out the back and turn it into a niche retail space.

The Li family has owned the building for nearly 20 years and recently refurbished and leased the upstairs office space, which had been empty for decades. The Elizabeth Street-facing retail space is leased to Officeworks.

Dan O’Connell

Fitzroy Community School has emerged as the mystery buyer of venerable Irish pub, the Dan O’Connell.

The move likely spells the end of the Dan’s 136 years as a pub and an unlikely second act as a school house. (We may have all been schooled there at one time or another.)

The Dan went on the market in May, after a disastrous St Patrick’s Day shuttered operations.

Fitzroy Community School is the mystery buyer of Irish pub, the Dan O’Connell.
Fitzroy Community School is the mystery buyer of Irish pub, the Dan O’Connell.Credit:

Records show it settled last month for $3.24 million – well over the original $2.5 million quote price.

Fitzroy Community School principal Tim Berryman confirmed the acquisition but wasn’t yet able to give details about the school’s plans. The school started in Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy in 1976 and opened a second campus in Thornbury in 2014.

The two-storey arts and crafts styled pub at 223-227 Canning Street is on the corner of Princes Street. Fitzroys agents David Bourke and Chris James did the deal.

Sullivan’s travels

Investor Brendan Sullivan has nearly doubled his money selling a raw strata office in the Empire tower for $4.5 million, just two years after buying it for $2.5 million.

It is understood the property was bought by an investor associated with the prospective tenant, the private Australian Design College.

The Empire tower was developed by Mammoth in 2017 and includes 367 apartments and four shops bought by Harry Chua in 2018.

Mr Sullivan told Capital Gain the office market “is not dead. Far from it.”

He had a big win during lockdown selling a seven-level office building at 1 Bowen Street, South Melbourne to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) for $19 million 12 months after buying it for $18 million.

Paint job

The paint-manufacturing Haymes family is selling its old Scott Parade premises in Ballarat and building a new $4 million paint shop on Creswick Road.

The 6517 sq m island site, marketed as 203 Peel Street North, is just 100 metres from the Ballarat Train Station and large swathes of new development spearheaded by the state government and the Pellicano Group.

Zoned commercial 1, it has approval for a mixed-use project of 63 residential units and 4500 sq m of commercial space.

The Haymes family has been in paint since 1890 and started the business in 1935.

Knight Frank agents Tim Grant is expecting it to sell for more than $6 million. Expressions of interest close on December 3.

Medical centre

A Hong Kong-based investor has snapped up a medical centre in Melbourne’s south-east medical precinct for $5 million and a yield of 4.4 per cent.

The two-storey property at 169-171 Stud Road, Wantirna South is leased to five tenants.
The two-storey property at 169-171 Stud Road, Wantirna South is leased to five tenants.Credit:

The two-storey property at 169-171 Stud Road, Wantirna South, is leased to five tenants including a physio, a dentist and a lymphoedema clinic. It returns around $220,000 a year.

The expressions of interest campaign was managed by CBRE agents Jimmy Tat, Sandro Peluso, Marcello Caspani-Muto and Josh Twelftree.

Mr Tat said there were nine bidders – six locals and three off-share parties – who were attracted to healthcare assets because of the ageing population and increased demand for medical services.

It’s the second deal in the precinct this year. In August, 230 Mountain Highway changed hands for more than $4 million on a yield of 4.6 per cent.

Back in town, a private orthopaedic clinic in the Parkville medical precinct, at 64 Chapman Street is on the market.

The property is on an 872 sq m site and includes two buildings, one of which is a Victorian villa. It’s expected to sell for around $5.1 million.

VicOrtho has signed a new six-year lease starting from November 1, paying $291,165 a year.

Gray Johnson director Matt Hoath is handling expressions of interest, which close on December 3.

Servo to sell

Syndicator group Fawkner Property is selling its BP Westernport Service Centre in Cranbourne West.

The fully leased centre, which also boasts a Red Rooster and Carl’s Jr, returns $1,048,000 a year net with an average 10.7 years left on its leases.

That kind of income suggests Fawkner can expect to reap more than $20 million from a future deal.

Stonebridge Property Group’s Justin Dower, Kevin Tong and Phil Gartland are managing the expressions-of-interest campaign, but declined to comment on the likely sale price.

Mr Dowers did say the listing came at an “opportune time”.

“Yield has become very hard to find. If you can locate an asset that also offers a very strong lease profile including, arguably, recession-proof convenience centres, you jump on it,” Mr Dowers said.

The servo is on nearly two hectares on the very busy corner of Western Port Highway and Thompsons Road.

Also back on the market is Konfir Kabo’s servo at 250 Epping Road, Wollert. It didn’t sell during lockdown but is now part of a national portfolio auction listed by Cushman & Wakefield’s Yosh Mendis and Aaron Dahl for December 10.

The 447 sq m newly built Ampol station and Smokin’ Joe’s fast food outlet returns $410,184 a year and is expected to sell for over $7 million.

Agents Quinn Reynolds and Ben Appel of Appel Property are conjunctional agents and sold an adjoining 1058 sq m parcel of land with a medical permit for $720,000.

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Source: Thanks smh.com