Harry Seidler’s first commercial project sold for $23.3m

Harry Seidler’s first commercial building has sold.

A Hong Kong family has purchased one of Sydney’s most important offices.

The buyer is paying Dynasty Aust Group $23.3m for 398-402 Sussex Street, Haymarket – the first commercial work of revered architect Harry Seidler, developed from 1954.

The mixed-use property underwent a $2m renovation in 2019.

The price reflects a low 3.1 per cent net passing yield.

It also values every square metre of the recently renovated lettable area at c$24,000 – one of the highest rates achieved for offices in Sydney’s city fringe, according to the Savills agents, Andy Hu and Jordan Lee.

Workhouse, Haymarket

Built as Horwitz House, the Bauhaus property occupies a 177 sqm site with a 14.94 metre street frontage.

Now known as Workhouse, it rises eight floors and contains 1097 sqm (including rooftop).

A glass façade is covered by operable louvres – a sustainable feature included in recent office designs.

The ground level and basement are configured with three retail tenancies.

The 2019 renovation cost more than $2m (story continues below).

The building originally known as Horwitz House, in 1955, soon after it was completed.

“This was a unique opportunity to acquire a generational and iconic asset located in the absolute core of Sydney’s renowned Haymarket,” Mr Hu said.

“Quality commercial assets continue to be at the forefront of investor attention, and we anticipate that prime and secondary yields diverge as a result of this,” he added.

“We had quite a few very high-profile offshore family offices bidding”.

As well as being Mr Seidler’s first commercial project, 398-402 Sussex St is credited as being the city’s first beam-free building – “an impressive feat of engineering for its time,” the agent said.

Mr Lee added the property “also benefits from the bustling activities in the retail precinct including Paddy’s Market, Darling Harbour, University of Technology, Darling Quarter Precinct and World Square”.

“The Haymarket precinct is undergoing an extensive regeneration that will underpin its appeal as one of the most vibrant districts in Australia and will only be enhanced further with the completion of various developments” according to the agent.

Malaysian, Singaporean and local groups also contested for Workhouse.

Mr Seidler died in 2006, aged 82.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.