Chemist Warehouse executives buy Fitzroy’s Kindness House

Kindness House is just over a kilometre from Melbourne’s CBD.


Chemist Warehouse executives Jack Gance, Mario Verrocchi and Mario Tascone are amongst a syndicate buying Fitzroy’s Kindness House.

The three storey building in the heart of the Brunswick Street retail strip is understood to be selling for about $12 million but this could not be confirmed.

Kindness House and Go Vegan are painted on the rooftop of the Fitzroy building. On the north east corner of Brunswick and Victoria streets, the 1045 square metre Commercial 1 zoned site has significant development upside.

For 25 years until it last traded in 2014, the asset was held by former Citibank vice president, philanthropist, Philip Wollen, who famously leased the upper two office levels to humanitarian groups rent-free.

The ground floor is configured with five shops.

All up, 276-294 Brunswick St contains 3135 square metres of lettable area.

On a 1045 sqm Commercial 1 zoned plot at the north east corner of Victoria St, it offers significant development upside, too.

The registered buyer, a company, also has as its directors Damien and Sam Gance and Marcello and Adrian Verrocchi.

The same seven identities last year listed for sale neighbouring retail assets, including the 10-shop Greensborough Plaza, on land which was once permitted to make way for a seven storey building (story continues below).

Kindness House campaign relaunched during the COVID-19 pandemic

Kindness House failed to sell when it was last offered for sale two years ago – seeking c$15m.

In March – after the COVID-19 pandemic started to grind parts of the economy – a campaign was relaunched with Colliers International the sole agency.

Oliver Hay, Daniel Wolman, Matt Stagg and Leon Ma – all who declined to comment when contacted – found a buyer by May.

The agents promoted the location, one property holding south of Johnston St and within a seven-day trading precinct.

Apartments, offices, a hotel – or a mixed-use project comprising any of these uses with lower level retail – were marketed as development outcomes.

In March it was reported Daniel Besen paid $8.9 million for 1-9 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy (outlined) – another low rise office with development upside.

The sale comes four months after we reported another Melbourne business identity Daniel Besen paid $8.9m for 1-9 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, near Carlton Gardens and the Royal Exhibition Building – also a low-rise commercial building marketed for its potential to be replaced with something taller.

In May, Pace Development Group applied to replace warehouses at the north west corner of Johnston and Gore streets with a 10-level apartment complex.

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Marc Pallisco

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