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.
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.