Belgium’s Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the outgoing owner of Carlton & United Breweries – and also the world’s largest beer maker – has decided not to renew the lease of a popular and prominent hospitality venue beside its nine-hectare Abbotsford manufacturing plant.
The Carlton Brewhouse at 11-17 South Audley Street will be available to a new occupier from December, 2019.
The property was last week listed by Vinci Carbone’s Joseph Carbone and Frank Vinci.
CUB will occupy the premises on an over-holding capacity until such time as a new tenant sets a date to move in, the agents said.
CUB purpose-built the 1035 square metre single-storey hospitality venue.
On a large 2291 sqm holding with a car park, the property also acted as a base for brewery tours.
In 2008, the beer maker sold the investment with a leaseback.
The site sold again late last year to the current owner, an offshore investor.
The Abbotsford offering
About three kilometres north-east of the Melbourne CBD, 11-17 South Audley Street is near the Victoria Street restaurant strip – which is expected to attract hospitality businesses.
With a high quality fit out, it could also be occupied as a contemporary office, retail, or showroom, with the rare bonus of a large customer car park.
Shopping centre Victoria Gardens and the Yarra River are within close proximity.
Carlton & United Brewery’s Melbourne property portfolio
Japan’s Asahi last month made a $16 billion bid for CUB – a deal which will require approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Asahi controls distribution centres on Australia’s east coast, including in Melbourne’s north-west suburbs.
The acquisition of CUB ignited rumours, again, that the Abbotsford brewery could be sold – and functions undertaken there relocated to land substantially less valuable.
CUB has been progressively disposing of sites, especially in Abbotsford.
About 10 years ago it offloaded a portfolio of properties – a combination of offices and warehouses – and including its former headquarters, a c1928 factory built for Kodak at 2-6 Southampton Street (which is, coincidentally, also for rent at the moment, pictured right).
Early last year, CUB banked $95.5 million selling its 77 Southbank Boulevard, Southbank, headquarters, in Melbourne’s Arts precinct, to the state government, which plans to re purpose it as a gallery.
In May, we reported CUB sold a car park at 33 Flockhart Street and 38 Grosvenor Street, Abbotsford, to Forza Captial for $12 million.
CUB’s main Abbotsford brewing site and warehouse would be well worth well in excess of $100 million, agents speculate.
CUB sold its 5.8 hectare former brewery in Sydney’s inner-city Chippendale in 2007.