AB InBev quits Carlton Brewhouse which is now for lease

EXCLUSIVE

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.

Inside Carlton Brewhouse, which CUB purpose built in 1997.

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.

The Carlton Brewhouse site (outlined, front) is about three kilometres from the Melbourne CBD.

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

CUB sold its former Southbank HQ to the state government for $95.5 million early last year.

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.

Hengyi now controls 2-6 Southampton Street, Abbotsford, which CUB sold about 10 years ago. The curved building was developed in 1928 for Kodak.

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.

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Marc Pallisco

A freelance property analyst and journalist, Marc is a co-founder of realestatesource.com.au.

Marc Pallisco