Justin Hemmes will trade in Melbourne after snapping up the CBD’s distinctive Tomasetti House for more than $40 million.
The director of hospitality group Merivale operates more than 80 Sydney venues.
In March, the company acquired The Quarterback in Narooma – its first purchase outside of the New South Wales capital.
Over seven floors, Tomasetti House at 277-279 Flinders Lane was offloaded by Sydney-based Margaret and Warren Millett who own the Mill House Bar and Restaurant, which trades in the basement.
The ground level is retail, part rented to Zomp Shoes.
The balance of the 1853 building is fit out with offices.
Tomasetti House was listed 13 months ago but withdrawn because of COVID.
The vendors paid education entrepreneur Shesh Ghale $16.2m in 2014.
Popular city pocket
The sale of Tomasetti House comes seven weeks after Invicta House at 226-232 Flinders Ln traded for c$40m.
That buyer, Fidinam, in 2019 spent $52m on the historic Swann House, at 22 William Street – a deal which reflected a substantial capital gain for the vendor, Orion, which paid $21.6m five years earlier (story continues below).
Nearby, this year, an investor outlaid a speculated $40m-plus for the 10-level former RACV Club office, at 422 Little Collins St – which was offered with a permit for a 22-storey structure.
Developer Holder East is also spending c$30m on a low-rise office with development upside at 170 Queen St.
The same agents are presently marketing two Flinders St offices including the former Snows Department Store and Yooralla headquarters (#244-248) – which carries c$45m price expectations – and a soon-to-be-vacated Victoria University campus (#300) – worth at least twice that.
Merivale’s portfolio closing in at 100
Merivale’s portfolio includes Coogee Pavilion, Fred’s, Mimi’s, Mr G’s, Mr Wong, Royal Hotel Bondi, The Ivy and Totti’s.
Six months ago it paid The Good Beer Co $32m for Randwick’s Duke of Gloucester
Confirming the Tomasetti House acquisition, Mr Hemmes described Melbourne’s hospitality industry as “one of the best in the world, brimming with creative culinary talent and supported by a passionate community of diners”.
Sources say the group is seeking to expand its Victorian portfolio but this couldn’t be confirmed.
Its plan for 277-279 Flinders Ln – including a possible renaming – is also as-yet-unknown.