Ashmark doubles down in Port Melbourne

A proposed innovation precinct at the ex-GMH site, opposite 11-15 Rocklea Drive.

Education group Ashmark Investments has snapped up a Port Melbourne showroom abutting another it bought just before the national COVID lockdown.

An Adelaide education group recently bought a Fishermans Bend building to occupy longer term.

The latest asset, spreading 700 square metres at 2/11-15 Rocklea Drive, cost $3.2 million following an off-market deal negotiated last November but which settled last week.

The neighbouring property (1/11-15 Rocklea Dve, pictured, top) – with 750 sqm and 15 car parks – set it back $2.585m in April, 2020, settling that July.

The double storey office/warehouses, which it plans to occupy, form part of a strata complex with eight units.

Also classified as Fishermans Bend, the business park’s northern edge abuts the West Gate Freeway – opposite the ex-GMH plant, now owned by the state government and earmarked to become a major employment hub with an innovation precinct.

NSL Property Group’s Guy Naselli brokered the latest Rocklea Dve sale.

“The prime city fringe location coupled with the need to expand their student base made this…property an ideal fit,” he said.

Elsewhere in Melbourne, Ashmark Investments operates from part of 459 Little Collins Street – an office formerly owned by the Uniting Church, then the Werdiger family, which Lendlease acquired last July for $83m for its 13 month old REP4 fund.

The education group has a campus at North Melbourne too – also its head office – at 287-313 Macaulay Road (story continues below).

Educator buys again

International students returned to Melbourne at the start of last year after a two year COVID-led hiatus bringing life back to a sector which caused many businesses to effectively shut down.

The purchase of 2/11-15 Rocklea Dve comes six weeks since Mr Naselli sold the operators of Southern Cross Education a West Melbourne office, 445 King St, for $2.8m.

That property is near a historic building once occupied by Mushroom Records and Reebok, which private school Haileybury snapped up in 2020 for $7.125m.

Six months ago, meanwhile, an Adelaide based school, via a company, Impact Neighbourhoods Pty Ltd, outlaid $6m for a warehouse converted office at 16-20 Thistlethwaite St, South Melbourne, to move into longer term (that building is presently leased to marketing agency Think HQ which, with options, can stay until 2031).

Also investing in inner-city Melbourne properties to occupy, in 2021, was the Pax Institute of Australia, which spent $5.4m for 363-379 Mt Alexander Rd, Ascot Vale, and the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School, which picked up a historic Church St, Richmond, property for $6.49m.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of