Apartment owners bank 100pc windfall selling block to developer

A proposed apartment building at 14 Alma Road, St Kilda.

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

The Alma Road site and Caydon’s STK tower (centre).

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

The deal values each of the 21 existing units at about $530,000.

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

The apartments are small; the internal area is c35 sqm, the broker added.

Over three floors, the complex occupies a 1070 sqm block at the north-west corner of St Kilda Rd, St Kilda.

It is near the suburb’s tallest apartment building: STK, built by Caydon, which rises 26-levels.

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

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

One vendor owned two flats, Mr Burkarz added.

Valuable airspace

The land and airspace are the most valuable things about 14 Alma Rd, the agent said (story continues below).

The deal prices each sqm at $10,400.

It also reflects “a 100pc uplift on the value of individual units and a record land price for the area, being almost 65pc higher than the previous benchmark,” according to the executive.

“This further highlights the shortage of quality high-rise development sites in inner suburban bayside,” he said.

“There is a high degree of difficulty to achieving consensus from such a large number of owners, making this result even more remarkable”.

Presently in Victoria, the law requires all apartment owners commit to a site being offered for sale as a whole.

However there are plans to change this and bring the state in line with New South Wales, where a quorum of 75pc can overrule.

Any legislative amendment is expected to result in a wave of B-grade blocks on sites which can accommodate height and density, more regularly hit the market, Mr Burkarz added.

Elsewhere in inner south Melbourne, another three-level complex, 545 St Kilda Rd, was listed last September by multiple owners.

This property includes 25 strata titled units – a mix of apartments and offices – and occupies 2865 sqm surrounded by taller buildings.

It carried a c$30m guide.

At 77 Coventry St, Southbank, last January, 20 owners sought to offload their low-rise block as a development site for c$20m.

Owners of 25 strata titled units at 545 St Kilda Road (outlined) listed their site last September.

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Marc Pallisco

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