Fortis drops another $12m in South Melbourne

Fortis’ proposed 18 level office at 313-317 Kings Way.

Fortis has paid $12 million for another low-rise South Melbourne office with plans for a taller one.

The deal for 34-40 Eastern Road comes three months since the group spent $5.05m for a mixed-use building at nearby 313-317 Kings Way, where it is intending an 18-storey commercial investment.

The Victorian and Civil Administrative Tribunal approved the Eastern Road office in April.

Last September, in the suburb, the Sydney developer outlaid $6.9m for a three floor Thomson Street office – presently the subject of a six level proposal.

Fortis, directed by Charles Mellick, made its first investment in the suburb in late 2019 – spending $8.55m on 67-69 Palmerston Crescent.

That property, near Albert Park Lake, is now making way for a nine-level complex, part which will act as the company’s Melbourne headquarters.

34-40 Eastern Road

On an 850 square metre Commercial 2 zoned site, 34-40 Eastern Rd contains 1150 sqm over two storeys.

The property last traded for $9.75m in May, 2019.

Developer H.Co, which was represented for this sale by Melbourne Acquisitions’ Dominic Gibson and James Latos, then spent 14 months – first with council, then the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal – to win approval for an eight level, c4000 sqm Fieldwork building (pictured, top) with offices and ground floor retail (story continues below).

Fortis’ proposed office at Thomson Street, South Melbourne.

Mr Mellick said he intends to hold the redeveloped asset – half a block from Eastern Reserve – as an investment.

“We have witnessed strong interest in well-connected city-fringe properties over the past 12-18 months, as organisations choose to move closer to where their employees live and socialise,” according to the executive.

“Our new sites in South Melbourne are a response to this demand for premium boutique offices that offer an enviable composition of location, quality and amenities,” he added.

Development hotspot

The new Fortis site is across the road from another low rise structure which formwork company ID&D is seeking to replace with a nine level office – Eleven Eastern.

It is also walking distance to the ex-BizMOTEL, which in 2013, producers of TV show The Block replaced as a residential project.

Arguably the street’s highest profile land owner is Andrew Fox – who acquired neighbouring sites in two parts – in 2015 and 2018 – expected longer term to be replaced with a larger commercial complex for various family businesses.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of