Historic building in Melbourne’s Chinatown sells for $6.9 million

219 Russell Street sold for $6.9 million yesterday.

A historic three-level building in Chinatown, in the Melbourne CBD, sold for $6.9 million at auction yesterday.

It was the first time 219 Russell Street has been offered for sale in 50 years.

The building, with 370 square metres of lettable area, was marketed as having development potential – the agents touted that the 108 square metre site with rear acceess to Waratah Place could be considered for a multi-level hospitality venue, apartment complex or student accommodation.

At present it is configured with two upper levels of vacant office space. A ground floor retail area is tenanted to Nu5 Hair Studio which pays annual net rent of $129,513 on a lease expiring in two years.

The property is within one of the city’s most highly pedestrianised areas according to the marketing agents, Colliers International’s Oliver Hay and Daniel Wolman and CBRE’s Josh Rutman and Max Ruttner.

“Centrally situated in the city’s retail core, this property is ideally positioned to capitalise on the 24-hour Chinatown retail trade, with the precinct attracting more than three million local, interstate and international visitors per year,” Mr Rutman said when the site was listed late last month.

It sold to a Melbourne-based private investor following an auction conducted by Paul Tzamalis of The Auction Company.

The deal comes four months after a two-level city building at 349 Elizabeth Street sold for $6.81 million. In May, 220 Bourke Street – a five-storey corner building which hadn’t been offered for sale for more than 80 years – sold for $15.21 million following a two hour auction with 661 bids.

Last month, a three-storey building at 189-191 Bourke Street – near to the city’s Bourke Street Mall – sold for $13 million – a substantial rise on the $5.7 million the Sydney-based vendor paid in 2014.

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Marc Pallisco

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