Fragrance picks up historic London Court

London Court last sold for £210,000 in 1950.

The c1937 London Court, in Perth, has sold for the first time in 71 years.

Singapore-based Fragrance Group is the buyer; outlaying $28.4 million.

The 3071 square metre site connects Hay Street Mall to St Georges Terrace.

The vendors were pastoralists Bill and Harry Butcher, descendants of Henry Butcher, who picked it up for £210,000.

At the time it was Perth’s priciest sale.

The distinctive Premier Tower (left) and Ibis Styles Hobart.

London Court

The heritage-listed four storey Tudor building contains 3071 sqm – a basement retail/workshop, 34 ground level shops and 57 upper level offices.

More than a third of the tenants have occupied for more than 10 years.

A pedestrian thoroughfare connects it from the Hay Street Mall to St Georges Terrace.

The holding spreads 1712 sqm.

Given the short (1.9 year) Weighted Average Lease Expiry, and despite being refurbished numerous times, it was marketed for its repositioning upside – having a zoning which allows for residential.

When London Court was developed by local mining entrepreneur Claude De Bernales, it contained 53 retail tenancies, 55 offices and 24 dwellings.

Fragrance – which is in the process of delisting from the Singapore stock exchange handing control back to its founder, Koh Wee Meng – will be its third owner (story continues below).

No significant changes planned

Colliers’ Ian Mickle, James Wilson and Wayne Lawrence described London Court as a once in a generation opportunity.

Local, interstate and international based high-net worth individuals, family offices and global investment house looked in, they added.

The buyer, who the agents are not disclosing, does not intend to make any significant changes.

“We have managed the asset for 70 years and are delighted to have been appointed to continue the partnership for the incoming [owner],” Mr Mickle said.

Fragrance spreads wings in Australia

Fragrance unveiled its first Perth project – NV Apartments – at 380 Murray St in 2016. It owns a Novotel hotel, in partnership with Accor, in the Western Australian capital too.

The investor and developer also controls Tasmania’s biggest guesthouse – Ibis Styles Hobart, with 296 suites at 173 Macquarie St.

Its flagship Australian project – the recently completed, distinctive 79-storey Premier Tower – replaced the Savoy Tavern at the south east corner of Bourke and Spencer streets, in Melbourne.

Fragrance also invests in Asia and Europe.

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Marc Pallisco

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