New Phone App Describes Evolving History of Melbourne’s Yarra River

Melbourne's Yarra RiverPLANNING history and residential property development appear prominently in a new multimedia initiative released this month by the Melbourne City Council.

Transforming the Yarra is a walking tour application which examines the evolution of Melbourne’s Yarra River precinct since the 1980s, and after the Cain-Labor State government released a strategy to make it Melbourne’s central focus.

The application, which is downloaded as an MP3 file for mobile phones, or as an audio stream from the web, discusses urban design and architectural principles adopted at various riverfront sites.

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Besen Family Pays $67 Million For 1 Spring Street Half Share

MELBOURNE’s Besen family has spent $67 million buying a half share interest in one of the CBD’s most distinctive “gateway” buildings, 1 Spring Street.

Daniel Besen, the son of shopping centre magnate Marc, purchased a 50 per cent stake in the 28-level 1 Spring Street office on the corner of Flinders Street, on a yield of 7.5 per cent.

Record Realty was the vendor.

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ISPT To Reap About $35 Million From Sale of 474 St Kilda Road

474 St Kilda RoadIndustry Superannuation Property Trust can expect to make between $30 million and $35 million from what might be the most under-utilised property in St Kilda Road.

The Clemenger House office building, at # 474, is spread over two blocks and three streets.

Given the shifting attitude in recent years to convert St Kilda Road offices into high rise apartment skyscrapers, 474 St Kilda Road is expected to arouse interest from residential developers.

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Chicago House Next Door to Barack Obama For Sale at $US1.85 Million

Barack Obama's Chicago HouseA Chicago home next door to US President Barack Obama’s home (pictured) has come onto the market with a price tag of $US1.85 million ($A2.2 million).

The unrenovated 17-room home at 5040 S Greenwood Avenue, in the Chicago neighbourhood of Kenwood, has been owned by Bill & Jacky Grimshaw since 1973.

The property was listed for sale in September for an unspecified price.

The Secret Service will need to clear anybody who visits the Grimshaws house, according to selling agent Matt Garrison.

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Garden House Apartment Complex Set For Prominent Rathdowne Street Carlton Site

HAVING demolished the historic red brick building that once stood at 83 – 95 Rathdowne Street in Carlton, builder Piccolo Developments is set to start marketing The Garden House complex, opposite the 130-year old Royal Exhibition Building, and Carlton Gardens South.
The $50 million, Woods Bagot-designed project, to be developed on the north-west corner of Queensberry Street, will rise five levels and include 46 apartments, and terraces.

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Gay Group Buys Remainder of $450 Million Gold Coast Project, off Macquarie

THE Gay Group of Companies has paid development partner Macquarie Group and Urban Pacific an undisclosed sum for its remaining interest in a $450 million Gold Coast residential development.

The Gay Group and Macquarie consortium were marketing the final blocks within its River Links project in Coomera, a 500+ block residential village under construction on what was once a dairy farm. The developers purchased the farm in 1998. The Gay Group will now resume full control of the project.

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Isis & Unico Lease Macquarie Office Trust 5 Queens Road Building

REFURBISHMENT solutions company Isis has leases offices and naming rights of a prominent Queens Road building, opposite the busy Kings Way junction, and Albert Park Lake.
Isis will lease 2,427 square metres at Macquarie Office Trust’s 5 Queens Road, office space previously occupied by Symbion Health which moved to 474 St Kilda Road in March. Isis will relocate from nearby Eastern Road.
Joining Isis is IT services company Unico, which will relocate from Bowen Crescent around the corner, and occupy 2,386 square metres at 5 Queens Road. Unico will lease space formerly occupied by National Foods, which moved to Docklands last November.

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Cornerstone Receivers Sell Two More Hotels

Great Northern, Carlton NorthRECEIVERS for pub group Cornerstone may have recovered another million from the sale of two pubs, put to the market last month, and after Collingwood’s “Tote” hotel failed to find a buyer.
The Great Northern, at the corner of Rathdowne and Pigdon streets in North Carlton, is believed to be under contract for around $750,000, sources say, to a pub operator who will manage the refurbished hotel, and its popular 140-seat outdoor beer garden.
Office space on the second level of the Great Northern, previously occupied by Cornerstone as offices, may be relet to tenants, or incorporated as part of a hotel extension, sources have speculated.

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Compulsory Acquisition Bill to be Discussed in Parliament

Council's artist impression of the future Parramatta
THE COALITION nor the Greens will support a controversial proposed law, allowing the Parramatta City Council the right to purchase private land and transfer it to Melbourne-based developer Grocon, for a profit.

The Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Amendment Bill, proposed last month, would allow the council the right to acquire land owned by Ray Fazzolari and Michael Winston-Smith. The land would be used to develop the $1.4 million Civic Place development. The bill follows a High Court of Australia decision which prevented the council from increasing its Civic Place land parcel.

Compulsory acquisition powers was discussed at yesterday’s shadow cabinet meeting.

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Challenger Sells Rivoli Theatre, Camberwell, For $20 Million

FORMER RETIREMENT Village developer the Zig Inge group has paid $20.2 million for Camberwell’s Rivoli theatre, reflecting a huge drop in the building’s value since even last year, and a massive loss for Challenger.Rivoli Theatre

The Zig Inge Group, which recently sold its retirement arm portfolio to Macquarie and FKP for $641 million, has purchased the Rivoli and will retain it as an investment. Land around the cinema offers great redevelopment potential.

The Rivoli, at 200 Camberwell Road, was offloaded by the Challenger Hybrid Property Fund, which put a value of $23.2 million on the asset just last year. Challenger spent about $16 million on a luxury restoration of the 5,340 square metre cinema in 1999.

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Flagship Lindt Chocolat Cafe to Open in Collins Street, Melbourne

271 Collins Street foyerMELBOURNE will soon have a choc-filled centre, with Swiss chocolatier Lindt confirming it will open a “flagship” chocolate bar in the CBD.
Australia’s fifth Lindt Chocolat Cafe will open in July, within the walls of a former banking chamber, at 271 Collins Street, a space occupied until recently as the global headquarters for the National Australia Bank.

Lindt has leased 200 square metres of refurbished retail space – about twice the size of a standard city shop – and will open a specialist chocolate flavoured cafe and bakery, to rival nearby caffeine-concourses Degraves Street, Flinders Lane and Centre Place.

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