Ex-Goldfingers for sale with skyscraper permit

The proposed 21 storey tower at the corner of Lonsdale and King streets.

Hickory is seeking a development partner – or site buyer – to replace a collection of blocks including the Kilkenny Inn, at the north east corner of King and Lonsdale streets, with a 21 storey skyscraper.

The local developer can expect over $70 million, sources say, for a straight sale.

A co-partner by comparison could share in the spoils of a project potentially worth over $200m.

The 1756 square metre site could sell for over $70 million.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Oliver Hay, Daniel Wolman and Leon Ma are representing Hickory, established 32 years ago by brothers George and Michael Argyrou, which paid United Petroleum founders Eddie Hirsch and Avi Silver c$50m for the 1756 square metre holding in mid-2021.

At the time, the Kilkenny Inn had just finished serving as the Goldfingers strip club after decades.

The redevelopment permit was sourced during settlement.

“We see the vision of transforming this pocket of Melbourne’s CBD and are pleased to be part of this precinct’s vibrant evolution, creating better places for future communities,” Michael Argyrou said.

Elsewhere in the CBD, the group, with MaxCap and Argo Group, is developing an office at 570 Little Bourke.

It also recently completed the Aspire Tower, co-developed with ICD Property, on the ex-Koorie Heritage Trust headquarters at 299 King St, and is constructing a Meriton Suites hotel for Harry Triguboff at 140 King (story continues below).

The 580 Lonsdale Street office was approved in 2021.

Development options

Hickory was planning to refit the two storey Kilkenny Inn as retail and construct a 24,000 sqm office tower over it.

However given the land zoning, an alternative development outcome could be considered including built to rent/student accommodation, build to sell residential or a hotel.

The permitted project contains a three level basement car park.

“We are entering a unique time in the Melbourne CBD with the supply of developable land becoming increasingly tight,” Mr Hay said.

“Coupled with tightening planning controls, as time goes on, corner sites of this scale will become virtually non-existent,” he added.

“Given the amenity attributes in this location as well as our current population growth rate and housing undersupply, we expect strong interest from luxury residential and multi-family sectors as well as tourism and commercial sectors,” according to the executive.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.