As part of plans to exit the gambling industry by next August, Melbourne Football Club has sold a Bentleigh pub to residential builder Metro Property Developments.
The deal for the Bentleigh Club, covering 33 Yawla Street and 32-46 Huntley Road, is worth $23.7 million.
In a statement to members, the team’s chief executive officer Gary Pert said proceeds will be tipped into a future fund, to secure its long-term security.
This trust will invest in other income deriving assets.
Melbourne acquired the Bentleigh property in 2011 as part of a deal that also paid the former operator’s $3m debt.
The team has been associated with the pub since 1996.
The venue will now close next year.
Metro spends again in Melbourne
Metro was co-established in Brisbane 11 years ago by Luke Hartman and David Devine; it is now owned by the former.
Earlier this year, the group spent $23.65m on a former Northcote bus depot at 198 Beavers Rd – now making way for a medium density residential project, Northcote Place.
Metro also recently snapped up a Preston housing estate site at 22 Wood St – previously owned by Steller – which will be marketed as Preston Place.
The 1.026 hectare rectangle Bentleigh block – with its 78 metres of street frontage – would be able to accommodate over 50 townhouses.
“The Bentleigh Club is a terrific parcel of land and adds to our strong pipeline of nine active projects in the middle ring of Melbourne,” the group’s general manager, Victoria, David Steele said.
“We very recently sold out of our 8-Star Northcote Place project and Ascot Place project (both under construction) and our Boardwalk land estate in Point Cook has now sold 50 blocks of land in only six weeks which gives us great confidence in the Melbourne market,” he added (story continues below).
“We will now look to design a community in Bentleigh, that, like our other projects, is sympathetic to the neighbourhood character and responds to the strong market demand for large, well designed townhomes”.
“There was excellent market interest in this campaign, with over 20 offers received and a significant amount of highly qualified capital left seeking good quality development sites suitable for townhouses,” Mr White said.
Strength and stability off the field: Gary Pert
Mr Pert said the property disposal follows its decision to exit gaming.
“At a time when we are experiencing great success on the field, the sale of the Bentleigh Club highlights our strength and stability off the field, too” he added.
“Financially, we are in the strongest position we have ever been in our long history as a club and this [sale] is a crucial step in solidifying this financial security,” according to the executive.
“We club is debt free and now in a position to future-proof itself”.
Another south east pub sale
The Bentleigh Club sale comes three months since the Boundary Hotel, in Bentleigh East, traded for $33m.
Last month, ALH banked $15.66m – nearly $4m over book value – for Cheltenham’s Tudor Inn.
Both these properties were marketed to investors with long leases.
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