Ex-Mornington Cinemas smashes reserve, sets local land benchmark

The 569 sqm building is now for lease.

The former Mornington Cinemas will be refurbished and re-let after selling for $3.72 million – substantially over reserve.

More than 100 enquiries were fielded over the four week campaign, according to marketing agents, Vinci Carbone and Jacobs & Lowe.

The property sold before a large crowd for $3.72m.

Four parties contested at auction.

The result set a local land rate benchmark.

The trendy Main Street in Mornington.

What’s next?

The incoming owner, a local, intends to seek a tenant while concurrently fitting out the 569 square metre double storey building at 1 Main Street for alternative use, Vinci Carbone director Joseph Carbone said.

The complex could make way for a retail premises – potentially one of the largest offerings in the street.

Alternatively, the agent added, two ground floor shops and an upstairs office – each with an entrance – could be considered.

Valuable building, view

“We weren’t surprised with the enquiry” Mr Carbone said of the sales campaign.

“This property is as good a development site as it is a commercial investment,” he added.

“The sale price, which exceeded reserve price expectations, has set a new land rate benchmark for the area.

“Both retail and office rents in this exclusive area are also rising – making the prospect of realising immediate value, a reality (story continues below).

Last month, an investor paid $12.8m against a $9m reserve for Mornington’s Barkly Square.

“Most Melbourne retail strip shops circle 100-150 sqm; this one offers multiples of that, which was a key driver for all the investor suitors,” according to Mr Carbone.

“The incoming owner has the advantage of knowing that underlying land value is rising and, if the time ever came to sell, developers would again, look in”.

Buyers flocked: agent

The auction was attended by over 100 people; the guide was c$3m.

“Mornington is one of the big winners from COVID-led lifestyle changes with more people wanting to live and work here than ever before”,” Mr Carbone said.

Investor interest has followed suit, he added, with several underbidders at this price point.

“There are dozens more buyers seeking smaller Mornington property, which perhaps doesn’t have the high-rise development upside of 1 Main St,” he added.

“This demand also exists for nearby suburbs – investors are becoming a lot more astute about things like suburban activity centres, and precinct spending, than before”.

Mr Carbone marketed the property with Jacobs & Lowe’s Michelle Adams and Jeremy Lewis.

The vendor held it since 1985.

Mornington Cinemas relocated to a smaller venue, part of a restaurant, during COVID.

The sale of its former home comes four weeks since another private investor spent $12.8m against a $9m guide for the nine shops which form the Barkly Square retail complex at nearby 53-55 Barkly St.

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Marc Pallisco

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