CSC spends $32.25 million on Exhibition Street properties to protect 101 Collins Street views

Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) is quietly snapping up properties surrounding – and in a bid to protect views from – its landmark 101 Collins Street office tower.

The superannuation manager for Australian government and Defence Force staff – paid $27.5 million earlier this year, for a six-level office on a 344 sqm plot at 45 Exhibition Street.

CSC is also said to be behind the purchase two weeks ago of a strata suite known as Level 3, 55 Exhibition Street.

An advertisement for a space known as 2709/101 Collins Street, showing the Yarra River views CSC is keen to protect.

With this $4.6 million investment, CSC can block attempts by the other owners to build into airspace, or unite and sell the property known as ACCI House as a whole, to a developer (at least until legislative changes come into effect in Victoria, which would allow a majority of owners to over-rule a minority).

One of the other 55 Exhibition Street suite owners is Salta Corporation and Asia One, a development consortium proposing a major apartment building at 63 Exhibition Street, next door.

Sources tipped realestatesource.com.au off about CSC acquiring 45 Exhibition Street and 3/55 Exhibition Street on Saturday.

Freestanding travertine pillars are both inside and outside of 101 Collins Street.

Both properties have been reported as selling to private developer David Hodgson’s Hodgson Partners.

Title documents for 45 Exhibition Street however, show it settled to CSC on July 31.

The 55 Exhibition Street deal, struck just two weeks ago, is yet to finalise – but well placed sources say CSC is behind the purchase, which values every square metre of area at $19,388.

In 2015, CSC acquired a five-level office on a 331 square metre block at 107-109 Flinders Lane from architect Philip Cox – reportedly also to protect 101 Collins Street’s views (this site had been the subject of a 43-level development application prior to being offered for public sale).

Previous owners of 101 Collins Street paid $5.5 million in 1996 for the former Rosati restaurant (now Garden State Hotel) at 101 Flinders Lane – selling it for $4.3 million in 2002, with restrictions on title preventing the airspace from being developed.

ACCI House at 55 Exhibition Street, Melbourne.

All sites – 45 and 55 Exhibition Street, 101 and 107-109 Flinders Lane – are Capital City 1 zoned.

Regarded as Melbourne’s most prestigious office tower, 101 Collins Street’s lower, middle and upper floors enjoy largely unobstructed views over the Yarra River to the Botanic Gardens, Government House, and Melbourne’s southern suburbs.

The building contains about 82,000 sqm of premium quality office and retail space and is reported to earn annual rent of more than $70 million.

Tenants include Bell Potter, BNP Paribas, Cisco, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JB Were, JLL and Morgan Stanley.

Last week we reported CSC appointed former Olympian Steph Perm to run an on-site wellness centre for 101 Collins Street occupiers.

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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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