Government buys again to protect 101 Collins Street views, light

Salta’s skyscraper would rise 57 floors, like 101 Collins Street.

The owner of Melbourne’s prestigious 101 Collins Street has bought two parts of a neighbouring strata office, in a tactical move to prevent the freehold winding up in the hands of a developer which could devalue its spectacular views.

Levels four and five of 55 Exhibition St are costing Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation $7m in transactions closed two months ago.

Salta’s building would block 101 Collins Street views.

MMJ Real Estate’s Steven Messina and Joel Wald were the agents.

The deals come five years since CSC outlaid $4.75m for the third storey of the building, with seven full floor suites.

While in Victoria, all strata unit owners must agree before deciding to sell or redevelop a property, legislation changes have been mooted since before COVID to follow New South Wales, where a quorum would rule; the figure has been suggested at 70pc or 80pc based on lot liability.

Salta lists a big headache for CSC

Salta Properties owns three floors of 55 Exhibition St as well: levels one, two and seven, acquired in each of 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Control of the building would have given the developer scope to expand a proposed skyscraper next door.

Coincidentally, that property, an office on 894 sqm, was listed for sale this week seeking c$75m, according to sources; it was also available in late 2020, a turbulent time in the economy with Victoria in lockdown.

Permit ready for 57 floors, with apartments and a hotel, CSC is an obvious suitor (story continues below).

Level four, 55 Exhibition Street, offered leased.

JLL’s Josh Rutman, Nick Peden, Jesse Radisich and MingXuan Li are managing that campaign.

CSC buys more view security

Level four, 55 Exhibition Street, is an investment with a new four year lease, while the fifth floor was offered vacant.

Both are modernised.

CSC, a federal government superannuation fund manager, has actively bought properties around 101 Collins St to preserve that asset’s views and natural light; the 57 storey building commands amongst the city’s highest rents.

In October, 2019, the landlord spent $27.5m for a six floor office on 344 sqm at 45 Exhibition St.

Nine years ago, meanwhile, it acquired a five level office on 331 sqm at 107-109 Flinders Lane, from architect Philip Cox.

It also snapped up the ex-Rosati restaurant, nowadays, the Garden State Hotel, for $5.5m in 1996, selling it six years later for $4.3m with a restriction any incoming owner being able to utilise the airspace and block 101 Collins Street’s southern aspect.

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Marc Pallisco

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