Community radio station PBS’ Collingwood HQ up for grabs

The Collingwood home of alternative radio station Progressive Broadcasting Service – or PBS – will be auctioned next month.

The historic red-brick warehouse at 47 Easey Street (pictured, top and below) is expected to trade for about $7 million.

PBS signed a 20-year lease in 2001 but has no intention of renewing after committing to build and move to a space within the nearby Collingwood Arts Precinct.

It and another occupier are on leases which end at the same time – about November, 2021.

Part of the complex has been fitted out as contemporary offices.

The asset contains about 1830 sqm of floor area, some of which is fitted out in a contemporary style, and returns annual rent of $94,835.

Previously occupied with other buildings in the street by a shoe manufacturer, and, separately, a wool store and chocolate maker, the warehouse is not heritage protected.

This puts the 1045 square metre Commercial 2 block on the radar of developers.

It is also being promoted to owner-occupiers and investors ahead of an auction on June 27.

Colliers International’s Peter Bremner and Andrew Ryan are marketing the property for a local private investor who owns commercial real estate elsewhere in the city.

A retail space within 47 Easey Street.

The grungy inner north-east Melbourne suburb has seen a wave of sales, leases and development proposals, in recent years.

It has also seen significant construction, with many major residential towers now dotted beside low-rise warehouses, like 47 Easey Street.

Earlier this month we reported that Tim Gurner had secured hotelier Veriu to occupy 95 rooms within a 12-level apartment building proposed for 23-33 Johnston Street.

The Easey Street site (outlined) is about two kilometres north-east of the Melbourne CBD.

Mr Gurner is also planning to build 219 flats in numerous buildings as part of a mixed-use development also with retail and offices at 1-57 Wellington Street, a site he bought off-market in 2016.

Last month, Houston-based Hines announced plans to build a sustainable timber office at a 2120 square metre holding across the road – 36-52 Wellington Street – which it acquired from Manfax Hardware and Paint owner Robert Larsson for $28.5 million.

The Liberman family’s Impact Investment Group is also in this pocket, constructing a $120 million, 13-level, 15,000 sqm office, part pre-committed to AESOP, at 54 Wellington Street, on the north-east corner of Northumberland Street (initially proposed by Grocon, IIG acquired this asset mid-last year).

The Liberman family’s Impact Investment Group controls a site making way for this office, at the corner of Wellington and Northumberland streets.

Another local developer, Pace, is building an office at 51 Langridge Street. Pace recently completed an apartment tower at 73-77 Wellington Street, a site it bought from charity Smith Family in 2014.

CBus is also investing in the area: its Holme development covering 61-71 Wellington Street and 37-39 Langridge Street is nearing completion.

Earlier this year, Chinese-Australian developer Zhang Weian paid a speculated $40 million for a 4287 sqm block at 128-144 Wellington Street, on the south-east corner of Gipps Street.

Formerly occupied by Glo-Weave shirtmakers, this parcel is now earmarked for an office and hotel.

An artistic development, the tallest mural in the southern hemisphere, was recently completed on the south wall of a public housing block at 240 Wellington Street, Collingwood.

The tallest mural in the southern hemisphere taking shape at 240 Wellington Street, Collingwood.

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Marc Pallisco

A freelance property analyst and journalist, Marc is a co-founder of realestatesource.com.au.

Marc Pallisco
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