Apartment owners bank 100% windfall selling low-rise St Kilda block to developer for more than $11 million

Twenty owners of one-bedroom apartments are sharing in the spoils of a major windfall, selling their unit block as a whole to a bayside developer for more than $11 million.

The property at 14 Alma Road, St Kilda, is now expected to make way for a major residential building of 14 storeys, or more.

The sale price values each of the 21 units on the site at about $530,000.

Had the owners not banded together, the dwellings would have sold for about $260,000 to $270,000 each, Motion Property director Ariel Brukarz said.

The apartments have an internal area of about 35 square metres, the broker added.

Artist’s impression of an apartment building (highlighted) which could replace 14 Alma Road, St Kilda, subject to approval.

The three-storey complex occupies a 1070 square metre block on the north-west corner of St Kilda Road.

South of the St Kilda Junction, it is near St Kilda’s tallest apartment building: STK, built by Caydon, rises 26-levels at 3-5 St Kilda Road.

A 25-storey building has been approved for a nearby site at 1 Wellington Street, owned by LAS Group and Qualitas.

The vendors of 14 Alma Road included residents of more than three decades, interstate investors and an owner from the United States of America.

One seller owned two flats, Mr Burkarz said.

Aerial image used in marketing showing the site (marked) relative to Caydon’s STK tower (centre), Port Phillip Bay and the bottom of Albert Park Lake.

The land and airspace are the most valuable things about 14 Alma Road. The recent deal appraises each square metre at $10,400.

“The sale price reflects a 100 per cent uplift on the value of individual units and a record land price for the area, being almost 65 per cent higher than the previous benchmark,” Mr Burkarz said.

“This further highlights the shortage of quality high-rise development sites in inner suburban bayside. There is a high degree of difficulty to achieving consensus from such a large number of owners, making this result even more remarkable”.

At present in Victoria, laws require that 100 per cent of apartment owners must be committed prior to a site being offered for sale as a whole.

Owners of 25 strata titled units at 545 St Kilda Road (outlined) have been trying to sell their site as a whole to a developer since last September.

However there are plans to change this, bringing Victoria in line with New South Wales, where a quorum of 75 per cent can overrule the 25 per cent who don’t want to sell.

Any legislative change is expected to result in a wave of secondary-grade buildings, on sites which can accommodate height and density, more regularly hitting the market.

Elsewhere in Melbourne, another three-level complex, at 545 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, was listed for sale last September by multiple owners. This property includes 25 strata titled units – a mix of apartments and offices – and sits on a 2865 sqm land parcel, surrounded by taller buildings.

It was expected to sell for about $30 million.

At 77 Coventry Street, Southbank, last January, 20 apartment owners sought to sell their low-rise block of flats as a development site for about $20 million.

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Marc Pallisco

Marc Pallisco

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

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