Barristers Chambers Limited Pays $54 Million For Owen Dixon Chambers West Office, Melbourne CBD

BCL purchased the land Owen Dixon Chambers buildings were constructed on in 1979, for $1.85 million, but did not have the resources to develop offices on the site immediately.
 
To enable office construction in 1986, BCL signed a 40-year sub-lease with financier Perpetual Trustees, to occupy the entire 19,000 square metre ODCW office, with an option to purchase the building in 2026.
 
However because of a ratchet clause in the sub-lease arrangement, BCL paid $2.5 million to terminate this lease in 1995 – and surrender its future right to buy the asset, in return for an immediate 40 per cent rental discount, back to market levels.
 
The building was later sold to an AMP Capital Investors controlled client.
 
The neighbouring Owen Dixon Chambers East office – which is connected to ODCW – has been owned by BCL for some years.
 
“We are very pleased to have been able to fulfil the long-standing ambition (of BCL)” said Michael Colbran QC, Chairman of the Victorian Bar. “This purchase releases the Bar from constraints as a tenant of a commercial building. Importantly, it means security of tenure of chambers provided by the Bar that are close to the Courts for current and future generations of Victorian barristers.”
 
“The acquisition will strengthen and consolidate the asset base of the bar and facilitate the long-term expansion of BCL”
 
The group owns several other offices in the area including Douglas Menzies Chambers and Isaacs Chambers – but ODC has always been considered the heartland of the Victorian Bar.
 
An AMP spokeswoman said settlement is expected to occur later this month.

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Marc Pallisco

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

Marc Pallisco

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