Hengyi lists historic former CUB HQ in Abbotsford


Chinese developer Hengyi is offering for sale the curved warehouse-converted-office in Abbotsford which was until recently the headquarters of Carlton & United Breweries, whose nine hectare plant (which is controlled by Japanese group Ashahi following this year’s $16 billion takeover from AB InBev) is across the road.

The Hengyi listing, which would have been coordinated some weeks ago, comes a day after it was reported the Australian Taxation Office froze more than $100 million of assets – including a mansion in Melbourne’s bayside Brighton – belonging to a director, Min Wang.

The office at 2-6 Southampton Crescent captures this view of the Melbourne CBD two kilometres away,

It is understood Ms Wang owes about $103 million to the government. It is also claimed the businesswoman might have made false statements to the ATO in 2013 and 2014.

Ms Wang lives with her husband, Liang Cheng, in China, where the pair also develop property. The couple part-reside in Melbourne.

The six-storey, 6000 square metre structure at 2-6 Southampton Crescent, Abbotsford, was built as Kodak’s headquarters in 1928.

Hengyi paid Wyllie Group about $16.5 million for the office in 2015.

Wyllie Group picked it up with Charter Hall as part of a portfolio of 10 assets, paying CUB $41 million in 2007.

In 2009, Charter Hall sold its share of the properties to Wyllie Group for $18.3 million.

The Abbotsford offering included a warehouse at 36 Bond Street and two other buildings at 27 and 29 Duke Street.

At the time Hengyi acquired it, the buildings were returning annual rent of about $2.1 million.

CBRE’s Mark Wizel, Lewis Tong, Josh Rutman and Scott Orchard with Fitzroys’ Paul Burns and James Lockwood are marketing the asset now.

It is is expected to trade for more than $18 million.

Part of the office is for lease.

The ground floor is tenanted to biotechnology and generic drug making firm Starpharma Laboratory.

Hengyi tried to offload the property last year via another agency, according to a source.

Hengyi paid the Victorian government $17.5 million for 33 Jacksons Road, Mt Eliza (outlined) earlier this year. The site was unsuccessfully offered for sale in 2017 asking $24 million.

The investment was priced as high as $30 million during that unsuccessful campaign. At least two agencies touted it prior to 2018, the executive added.

Seven months ago we reported that Hengyi paid the Victorian government $17.5 million for a former hospital on 3.4 hectares of waterfront land in Mt Eliza (pictured, above).

This site, 33 Jacksons Road, was unsuccessfully marketed in 2017 with an asking price of about $24 million before being withdrawn from sale and devalued, care of buildings on site receiving heritage protection.

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Marc Pallisco

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