Chris Lucas buys Melbourne office

The strata office complex will rise 28 storeys.

Chris Lucas has acquired two levels of an office tower under construction in Melbourne’s eastern end – between many of his restaurants.

The 660 square metre space within 130 Little Collins Street is costing $13 million.

It will be utilised as the headquarters for his company, Lucas Restaurants, which is presently based at 96 Flinders Lane.

The Uniting Church owned the former building at 130 Little Collins Street for 52 years.

“The building has a real sense of Melbourne style and feels very bespoke which is important to a creative business like ours,” Mr Lucas said.

“It’s also within proximity to some of our restaurants, namely Society, Grill, Americano, Kisume, Yakimono, Lillian Brasserie and Chin Chin…not to mention the currently under construction Batard” he added.

The deal comes seven months since the Melbourne based restaurateur banked a speculated $6m from a Potts Point apartment used as a Sydney bolthole.

New chapter for prime site

Jeff Xu’s Golden Age is developing 130 Little Collins St on the site of a low rise brick building for decades occupied by the Uniting Church.

At the time of purchase – June, 2019 – the 651 sqm site was permit ready for a 26 level hotel.

This shell was then slightly extended to 28 storeys as part of a redesign by Cox Architecture and Hecker Guthrie for a high-end strata office complex with a premium grade lobby, end of trip facilities, column free floorplates. 2.7 metre ceilings and an activated rooftop with a garden penned by Jack Merlo.

Construction started early last year.

Elsewhere in Melbourne, Golden Age last month outlaid $12.78m for a 1191 sqm Commercial 1 zoned block in central Box Hill (story continues below).

Golden Age recently acquired a Box Hill development site (shaded).

The developer also owns the ex-St Leo’s College in neighbouring Box Hill South, expected to make way for a townhouse based project.

Xavier College’s Koska Hall campus was purchased by Golden Age last year.

Last June, meanwhile, the group paid Jesuits Australia c$100m for the 3.3 hectare ex-Xavier College Kostka Hall campus, in Brighton.

Near Brighton Beach Station, a residential based development with medium and high density components is expected.

Strata office filling up

About 70 per cent units at 130 Little Collins St have sold, the majority to owner occupiers; Cushman & Wakefield’s Oliver Hay, Anthony Kirwan and George Davies are the agents.

“We are seeing the requirements of contemporary office spaces shift to have a greater focus on lifestyles and wellness,” Mr Xu said.

“Located in Melbourne’s eastern core, 130 Little Collins St is surrounded by world class restaurants including Lucas Group’s own restaurants, so it makes sense that Lucas Group has chosen these premium offices to call home,” Mr Xu said.

“Our brands share a similar vision: Lucas Group restaurants are known for their curious innovation and sense of excitement through pushing boundaries, while design pillars at Golden Age prioritise creativity and progress,” he added.

“We are excited to provide the group with headquarters which promise to provide inspiration for their upcoming projects,” according to the executive.

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Marc Pallisco

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