Apartment developer swoops on Alma Park leisure centre

Fitness First is on a lease expiring in 2024 with no options.

High end apartment developer Neometro has outlaid $21.8 million for a major leisure centre opposite Alma Park, in St Kilda East.

The property includes a 25 metre pool.

The 5008 square metre holding, 97 Alma Road, is tenanted to Fitness First on a lease with no options expiring in 2024.

Colliers’ Peter Bremner, Jozef Dickinson, Trent Hobart and Ted Dwyer marketed the property as Saint Alma, targeting residential, aged care or medical centre developers, owner occupiers and investors.

Based on the present annual rent ($841,399 ex-GST), the result reflects a 3.85 per cent yield.

North of the city, Neometro recently replaced ex-Victrack industrial properties around the Jewel station, in Brunswick, with apartments.

Founded in 1985 by Jeff Provan the developer is now led by James Tutton who co-established the Moonlight Cinemas.

97 Alma Road

Mr Bremner described the St Kilda East property as the ultimate inner-city opportunity – opposite a park, near transport, the bay and Chapel Street shops.

St Michael’s Grammar, Caulfield Grammar and King David School are also in the vicinity.

“The property appealed to a variety of buyer types, validating the multitude of potential redevelopment options,” Mr Dickinson added.

“The tightly held nature of the location and scale of the land use suited residential, aged care and retirement and/or ongoing use with value-add upside,” according to the executive, who said several prominent developers looked in.

Presently, the asset includes a leisure centre, recreation hall and multi-level, state of the art gym containing work-out studios and an aquatic centre with a 25 metre pool and change facilities (story continues below).

Two futsal courts with artificial turf run along the back while a pathway abuts its western boundary.

The suburb is about six kilometres south east of the CBD.

Heading back southside: Neometro

Neometro’s initial projects were boutique medium density complexes, predominantly in exclusive bayside suburbs.

It has in recent years spread itself geographically around the city; in 2014 it won a state government tender to develop apartments on industrial sites around the Jewel station, at Brunswick.

“We are very active on the northside…Northcote, Thornbury, Fitzroy etc,” Mr Tutton said.

“We’ve got a long history in the southside too and we’re looking forward to getting back there” he added.

“2021 was a year of very significant growth for Neometro,” according to the executive.

“We made some major acquisitions and securing Alma Rd days before Christmas was the perfect icing on the cake”.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.