Former Swisse Wellness executive Michael Saba flips Clifton Hill retail asset

The Clifton Hill offering (shaded).

Eighteen months after spending close to $7 million on a supersized retail asset in Clifton Hill, Michael Saba – an investor in the Swisse Wellness empire – has relisted it.

The former Thrifty Line hardware store at 15-33 Queens Parade, occupies a 1540 square metre plot set to be rezoned to Commercial 1, which would open it up to a variety of redevelopment options, including as an apartment project.

It was reported when Mr Saba bought the asset that it would be owner-occupied for a chocolate shop venture.

The site sits within the popular Clifton Hill Village retail strip, just over two kilometres north-east of the Melbourne CBD. It is about 700 metres from the Clifton Hill train station, not far from a controversial apartment project proposed by Melbourne developer Tim Gurner.

Colliers International’s Lachlan Dornauf, Alysia Reilly, Hamish Burgess and Ted Dwyer are marketing the asset for Mr Saba via an expressions of interest campaign closing on November 1.

Mr Saba was one of three businessmen to profit handsomely from the $1.67 billion sale of Swisse Wellness, to Chinese company Biostime International, in 2015.

The company’s former chief executive Radek Sali, speculated to have a net worth of $400 million, acquired the South Yarra mansion of hospitality entrepreneurs Frank and Sharon Van Haandel for $12.5 million in late 2016.

Stephen Ring, whose father founded the Swisse business – and who is speculated to have pocketed about $1 billion from its disposal – has also been an active property purchaser. Last month we reported Mr Ring was paying a rumoured $10 million for a Byron Bay home offered by another Melbourne businessman, Skilled Group former boss, Greg Hargreave.

Marc Pallisco

A freelance property writer and analyst, Marc is a co-founder of realestatesource.com.au.

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