Barristers’ Chambers buy another office from landlord

Grocon developed 200 Queen Street in the early 1980s.


Charter Hall has sold an under-utilised Melbourne legal precinct office to Barristers’ Chambers Limited, the biggest occupier, prior to the launch of an expressions of interest campaign.

The Queen Street office (outlined) within 500 metres of several courts.

The 32 storey building, 200 Queen Street, is trading for a speculated $190 million.

The first skyscraper developed by Grocon, in the early 1980s, but since renovated, it contains 19,736 square metres of A-grade space adjoining a 10 level, 500 bay public car park.

BCL in 2009 bought 525 Lonsdale Street, which it built in 1986.

BCL rented 20.5 floors – or about 74 per cent of the lettable area – expanding its tenancy over more than two decades.

Branding its space Aickin Chambers, it includes a serviced office component controlled by subsidiary Opus Workspaces.

The 18th floor is fitted as Emmerson Chambers.

The Victorian Bar approved the purchase today.

“The momentous acquisition expands our commitment to ensuring that members can build and maintain sustainable and successful practices now and into the future” a spokesperson said.

“BCL has had a continued presence at 200 Queen St for decades, meeting consistent demand for chambers,” they added.

“The strategic purchase not only supports our members but also secures the future of the Bar by enhancing our chambers offering…we congratulate the Board of BCL and its management team for advancing this generational opportunity to further strengthen the BCL model”.

The deal comes 15 years since BCL outlaid $54m for Owen Dixon Chambers West at 525 Lonsdale Street – seizing control of the office it developed in 1986 but sold with a leaseback (story continues below).

Also today we are reporting Cbus bought the balance of Sydney’s 5 Martin Place.

An entity of the Victorian Bar council, the group also owns in the pocket, Douglas Menzies Chambers, Isaac Chambers and Owen Dixon Chambers East.

BCL swoops prior to EOI close

Never launched for public sale, 200 Queen St was ready to be marketed via an expressions of interest campaign to close on July 4; it was held by the Charter Hall Direct Office Fund.

On 2850 sqm with three street frontages, at the point the legal, business and retail precincts merge, it was promoted for its development upside, able to accommodate a c76 level tower with some 78,000 sqm of area.

Given the Capital City zoning, residential could be considered.

CBRE’s Kiran Pillai, Flint Davidson, Scott McGlone and Andrew Hunter with Cushman & Wakefield’s Leigh Melbourne, Nick Rathgeber, Josh Cullen and Mark Hansen were the agents.

The asset previously traded in 2003 for $78m.

In Sydney, Charter Hall is speculated to be quietly shopping around two offices: 231 Elizabeth St and 333 George.

Another in Adelaide, 121 King William St, was recently withdrawn from public sale.

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Marc Pallisco

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