The consortium has recently developed apartments on land adjoining the 18-level, hexagonal building, which was re-leased to tenants after Ansett went into voluntary administration 10 years ago.
Renowned for its views, the building has great redevelopment potential, but has been retained by the owners as an investment. It is near a site in Carlton that in 2010 was earmarked to become a 90-level, 800-unit apartment building.
Densities in Melbourne have loosened even more since 2010, with 501 Swanston Street touted by some industry players as a possible site to accommodate Melbourne’s first 100-level-plus building.
It is believed that after a recent dispute between the owners, the courts concluded that 501 Swanston Street be auctioned, despite agents arguing that an expressions of interest campaign may have been more appropriate.
Agents tell BusinessDay the highest-priced office building to sell under a gavel in recent memory was in 2007, when serviced-office operator Christie Corporate paid $17.8 million for an unrenovated 11-level office at 454 Collins Street.
An advertisement for 501 Swanston Street, not mentioning the address, is being circulated to potential buyers. The auction will be held at the Rialto boardroom of agency CBRE at midday on May 29. Mark Wizel, Martin O’Sullivan and Mark Coster are the marketing agents.
The Ansett portfolio purchase with PDG was Mr Salvo’s first foray into major property development.
Mr Salvo had previously founded successful rental company Europcar, which was an owner-occupier in many of its inner-city showrooms.