Newmark Capital is speculated to be paying about $120 million for the prominent David Jones menswear store in Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall.
The deal, mooted in early April, follows a public sales campaign launched last December.
However a few months earlier, a pre-marketing announcement about the listing was leaked.
In both cases, the historic seven level, 11,814 sqm building at 299 Bourke Street carried c$150m price hopes.
CBRE Simon’s Rooney and Lewis Tong with recently departed colleague Mark Wizel represented the South Africa backed David Jones which plans to use sale proceeds to renovate its flagship store across the road at #310.
UBS has now been appointed to review the retailer’s other Australian assets which includes a Sydney CBD outlet in Elizabeth Street.
David Jones’ outgoing menswear store on Bourke Street Mall
At Melbourne’s most valuable retail point, the David Jones menswear store occupies a 2232 sqm site almost adjacent to the former GPO.
Its western boundary also abuts Union Lane while it has rear access to Little Collins Street.
The vendor offered it with a short-term leaseback – a factor which could have made the asset more attractive to the speculated purchaser, which has a track record of adding value and repositioning prime located sites.
Headed by ex-AFL sportsman Chris Langford, Newmark’s portfolio includes in South Yarra the Como office and Jam Factory – the latter which is earmarked for a $450m redevelopment which will include four major towers.
In 2018 it sold the former Jam Factory car park at 11-13 Wilson Street – the buyer, Bill McNee, which paid $12.6m, is now building a 10-level office.
Last year Newmark paid Stockland $64m for Tooronga Village Shopping Centre in Glen Iris.
Its Bourke Street Mall investment is in a development hotspot near what will be National Australia Bank’s next headquarters, which Canada’s Brookfield Properties is constructing at #405.
Next to that (#435), ISPT has earmarked a 55-level, 64,500 sqm commercial complex, penned by Bates Smart and scheduled for completion in 2023.
In March, JP Morgan Asset Management began listed a similarly priced landmark retail investment to 299 Bourke Street: the former Australia on Collins Street, now known as St Collins Lane – also via CBRE.