Super fund buys again to protect views at 101 Collins Street

By Nicole Lindsay

The landlord at one of Melbourne’s most prestigious office buildings, 101 Collins Street, has splashed out $7 million to buy two floors of a neighbouring office at 55 Exhibition Street.

Records show levels four and five, which settled in less than a fortnight, were snapped up by the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC), an active property investor in the prestigious east-end market.

101 Collins Street, Melbourne.
101 Collins Street, Melbourne.Credit: Eddie Jim

CSC, in a bid to control development around its trophy 57-storey building at 101 Collins, had previously bought the third floor of the seven-level building in 2021, paying $4.75 million.

The deal was struck by MMJ agents Steve Messina and Joel Wald, who declined to comment on the buyer or the price, but noted there was plenty of competition. They were pleased with the result.

That 236-square-metre floor is currently for lease through Colliers agents Georgina Murray and Hugh Ferrari.

55-63 Exhibition Street, Melbourne.
55-63 Exhibition Street, Melbourne.

CSC, which looks after the superannuation of federal public servants, has a record of digging deep to protect the views from 101 Collins.

In 2019, the fund paid $27.52 million for a six-level building at 45 Exhibition Street, and in 2015 it forked out $15 million for 107-109 Flinders Lane. It put its foot down on level one of Austin House at 121 Flinders Lane in 2020, paying $4.1 million.

Salta’s view

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Property developer Salta, which also owns three floors at 55 Exhibition Street, is kicking off the year by relisting its neighbour at 63 Exhibition.

The 13-storey office building comes with a recently extended permit for a 52-level apartment and hotel project designed by Bates Smart, which will likely put a dent in the views from 101.

Salta was also keen to control potential views from its proposed tower, hence its holdings next door at number 55.

Salta tried to sell the property in late 2020 for around $80 million. Prices being what they are three years down the track, it’s now carrying expectations of $75 million.

JLL agents Josh Rutman, Nick Peden, Jesse Radisich and MingXuan Li are handling enquiries.

There will be plenty of interest in the campaign given the paucity of deals in the CBD last year.

The biggest sale in the city took place before Christmas with art deco gems Mitchell House and Milledge House, on the corner of Lonsdale and Elizabeth streets, selling for $56 million.

Records show Melbourne developer Calvin Huang put a caveat over the property.

Cushman & Wakefield agents Daniel Wolman, Oliver Hay and Leon Ma, along with Charter Keck advisers Tom Byrnes and Scott Keck, handled the transaction.

Flat out

On the CBD fringe, a three-storey block of flats opposite Powlett Reserve is on the market for the first time since 1958.

Currently operating as the Birches Serviced Apartments, the property at 160-174 Simpson Street is on a 1300-square-metra parcel of land on the corner of Albert Street.

Records show it was bought for £9580 back in the 1950s. The price guide this century is between $12 million and $15 million.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Wolman, Hay and Ma are handling the listing.

There is a fair bit for sale in East Melbourne and plenty of development underway, especially along Albert Street.

Last year, developers Pelligra and Primeland listed 83-91 Albert Street for sale with plans for an $80 million 14-unit project on the 1700-square-metre site, and the Lyons Development Group tried to sell Mena House at 29-37 Simpson Street with a permit for three swank houses designed by Karl Fender.

Also on the market after several decades is the old Schweppes cordial factory around the corner in Abbotsford.

The Mandie family, owner of former duty-free group James Richardson Group, is offloading the 5728-square-metre building that retains some heritage-listed features.

Back in 1982, founder David Mandie boasted he’d employed 20 former footballers at the business: a whole football team.

Teska Carson’s Michael Taylor, Michael Ludski and Luke Bisset with JLL’s Rutman, Radisich and Tim Carr are handling enquiries and expecting more than $18 million for the 3098-square-metre site, which is zoned as mixed use.

Close to station

The Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) is moving out of its headquarters in South Melbourne after 43 years and into swish office space at Wesley Place, Charter Hall’s office at 130 Lonsdale Street.

Wesley Place towers loom over a historic church on Lonsdale Street.
Wesley Place towers loom over a historic church on Lonsdale Street.Credit: Scott McNaughton

VTAC’s old double-storey office is on an 1168-square-metre parcel of land at 40-48 Park Street, just a hop and a skip from the new Anzac train station on St Kilda Road.

The precinct remains a huge building site, thanks to the Metro Tunnel construction and the forest of residential towers taking over the ageing low-rise office buildings.

Colliers agents Nick Garoni, Matt Stagg and Yvonne Zhou are running the campaign and expecting around $14 million for the building.

At its rear on Bank Street is a site earmarked for one of Hines’ build-to-rent projects, and on the other side of Park Street, Crema’s The Eighth and Oasis by Holder East are on the rise.

The team, including Ryan Milivojac, is also marketing an office at 142-146 Leicester Street in Carlton close to the new Parkville train station.

Older office and warehouse stock in the area is also being replaced by residential development, though mostly student accommodation.

The 550-square-metre two-level building is on a 280-square-metre site two doors down from the much lamented Corkman Hotel (built as the Carlton Inn in 1857), which developers illegally demolished in 2016. It’s expected to fetch around $5.5 million.

REIV moves

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria is also on the move. The REIV, which has been at 335 Camberwell Road since 1988, sold its headquarters in Camberwell late last year to residential developer Angle for around $26 million.

Records show the REIV paid $4.065 million for the 2070-square-metre office near Camberwell Junction.

The undisclosed price paid for the large 3808-square-metre site reportedly reflected a land rate of nearly $7000 per square metre.

REIV president Jacob Caine said the sale will “allow us to relocate our headquarters to a property which better suits our needs.”

CBRE’s Tom Ryan, who negotiated the deal with Scott Orchard, David Minty and Nathan Mufale, said eight bids were received from interstate and local buyers.

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Source: Thanks smh.com