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.

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

The landlord is additionally said to be behind the purchase a fortnight ago of a strata suite, level three, within nearby 55 Exhibition St.

An advertisement for 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 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 rule).

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

Sources tipped off about CSC acquiring 45 and 3/55 Exhibition streets on Saturday.

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

Both properties have been wrongly reported in print recently as selling to Hodgson Partners, run by businessman David Hodgson.

Forty five Exhibition St title documents show it settled to CSC on July 31.

The 55 Exhibition St deal is yet to finalise but sources say it will be to the same buyer; the acquisition price reflects a particularly high rate psm of area ($19,388).

In 2015, the landlord acquired a five-floor office on a 331 sqm block at 107-109 Flinders Lane from architect Philip Cox – reportedly also to protect 101 Collins St’s views (this site was the subject of a 43-storey development application prior to being offered for public sale).

Prior 101 Collins St owners paid $5.5m in 1996 for the ex-Rosati restaurant (now Garden State Hotel) at 101 Flinders Ln – selling it for $4.3m in 2002 with restrictions on title preventing the airspace from being developed.

ACCI House at 55 Exhibition Street, Melbourne.

All CSC’s new sites are zoned Capital City 1.

Regarded as Melbourne’s most prestigious office, 101 Collins St’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 investment contains about 82,000 sqm of premium quality office and retail space and is reported to earn annual rent of more than $70m.

Occupiers 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 building occupiers.

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Marc Pallisco

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