Vision Australia banks an enormous profit with c$35m sale of Melbourne HQ

The Kensington property is at the north-west corner of Macaulay Road and Stubbs Street.

Vision Australia has sold an inner-Melbourne office for a speculated price of about $30 million to $35 million – a staggering increase on the $9.2 million the not-for-profit agency paid 10 years ago.

Boutique builder United Asia Group, directed by Nicole Chow who established the local company in 1993 after arriving from Singapore, is the buyer.

On a corner site known as 346-350 Macaulay Road, in Kensington, the asset includes a low-rise office-warehouse purpose-built for TNT Logistics in 1998.

However it is the land – 8803 square metres – which was rezoned Mixed Use last year, and allows for high rise buildings – which was expected to attract the best paying bidders – developers.

The site, on the north-west corner of Stubbs Street and opposite the Macaulay train station, is now mooted to make way for apartment buildings rising up to eight storeys.

CBRE’s Victorian Development Site Sales division brokers Julian White, Mark Wizel and Lewis Tong represented Vision Australia which occupies other commercial properties throughout the city.

Office operations carried out at Kensington will be relocated to Sunshine, about 12 kilometres west of the CBD. However for the short term, Vision Australia will stay on at Kensington, paying annual rent of $684,500.

UAG recently completed a luxury apartment project in Flemington Road, North Melbourne – not far from its new Kensington holding. It is also behind residential projects in, amongst other suburbs Armadale, Brighton, Hawthorn, and South Yarra.

In the same month Vision Australia listed 346-350 Macaulay Road, the owner of a nearby site at 88 Stubbs Street also listed their asset for sale. Covering 3986 sqm, and also zoned to allow for a high-density complexes, this asset is expected to sell for about $15 million following a campaign being managed by Beller Commercial’s Jeremy Gruzewski and Fred Nucara.

Not-for-profit groups have been active in the Melbourne property sector this year – as buyers, sellers and renters.

Australian Volunteers International, which brands by its acronym, recently sold two neighbouring Fitzroy offices to developers for more than $15 million, then bought a commercial building in the same suburb for more than $5 million.

The Leo Cussons Institute for Law also sold a city building at 360 Little Collins Street for $33 million. It now rents at 535 Bourke Street.

In June, Multiple Sclerosis Limited paid a speculated price of $9.5 million for a new office near the Box Hill Hospital.

The Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society also sold a building, in inner-north Carlton. It subsequently leased an office at 277 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, in Melbourne’s east.

Marc Pallisco

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

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