Probuild founder lists Prahran’s historic former post office

Probuild founder and race horse owner Phil Mehrten.

Probuild founder and race horse owner Phil Mehrten (pictured, left) is continuing to reweight his property portfolio.

The businessman this week listed for sale Prahran’s historic former post office, at 164-168 Greville Street (pictured top and below), which is now a boutique office with ground floor retail.

Rising three levels on the south-west corner of Macquarie Street, the 1890 square metre building is fully leased, returning annual rent of approximately $620,320.

It is speculated the investment will sell for in excess of $14 million but this could not be confirmed with the selling agents, CBRE’s Mark Wizel, Rorey James, Julian White and Kevin Tong, who are managing an expressions of interest campaign closing next month.

Mr Mehrten bought the investment for $9.1 million from prominent quarry-owner turned developer Paul Lofitis in 2013 – a particularly low point in the current property cycle (it carried price expectations of about $10 million at the start of that campaign).

The Angus & Bon steakhouse leases retail space on the ground floor of the former Prahran Post Office.

Built in 1928 following a fire of a 19th century post office formerly on the site, the asset was held by Australia Post until December 2005, when it sold to Mr Lofitis for $3.6 million who undertook the contemporary renovation in 2010.

New York style steakhouse Angus & Bon occupies retail space within the building (this restaurant’s name is derived from members of the band AC/DC, which played one of their first Melbourne shows in 1975 at the former Station Hotel, also in Greville Street).

In 2015, NASDAQ-listed camera manufacturer GoPro leased a small portion of the office area as its Australian headquarters.

The Greville Street listing comes five months after Mr Mehrten listed a Hawthorn office building at 1 Oxley Road.

Co-owned with another Probuild executive, Edward Yencken and former St Kilda player Wayne Judson, this asset sold for $15 million against price expectations of $9 million. The consortium paid $2.2 million for 1 Oxley Road in 1998.

In 2015, Mr Mehrten, Mr Yencken and Mr Judson offloaded a three-level city office at 415-417 Collins Street for $8.9 million – a 2.2 per cent yield and $2.5 million above reserve.

Mr Mehrten is also an active race horse owner – owning shares in seven of the 23 runners in the 2017 Melbourne Cup.

In 2016, the businessman won the Cup with Almandin, a horse co-owned with another construction figure, Hacer Group director Vin Sammartino, music promoter Michael Gudinkski, Brian Singer Al Green and Lloyd Williams.

An aerial image showing 164-168 Greville Street, Prahran, in relation to the Melbourne CBD.

Marc Pallisco

A freelance property writer and experienced analyst, Marc is the co-founder of realestatesource.com.au

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