Justin Hemmes secures another historic Melbourne building

Also this week, we are reporting Christian Dior bought a historic Melbourne CBD building.

Justin Hemmes’ Merivale has quietly picked up a Harry Norris designed Art Deco – Kantay House (pictured, top) – in a laneway at the top end of town.

Justin Hemmes’ Tomasetti House is undergoing a multi-million dollar refurbishment.

The Sydney based billionaire is expected to occupy the warehouse converted restaurant investment, 12-18 Meyers Place, between Bourke and Little Collins streets, after outlaying a speculated $15 million.

Also with frontage to Windsor Pl at its east – opposite the section of the Windsor Hotel which has in recent years been the subject of a 26 level building – the property is predominantly leased to Argentinian steakhouse San Telmo, with smaller tenancies rented to Italian eatery Pizza Pizza and cocktail bar Lily Blacks.

All up, there’s 1117 sqm over two floors and a basement.

Demolition on horizon – unless landlord, tenants void leases

On 603 sqm with a demolition clause built into the leases, the longest which run into next decade, the land has development upside; it has previously been the subject of at least two multi-level projects, an apartment tower and car park.

It is speculated Mr Hemmes will build into the airspace, capitalising on its location in what agents call the city’s Paris End, also near Parliament House and a cluster of government employees, including, soon the Department of Education into a new building.

Cushman & Wakefield’s George Davies, Oliver Hay, Leon Ma and Daniel Wolman represented the vendors, which held the investment since 1993. They unsuccessfully tried to sell it in 2000 (story continues below).

Justin Hemmes at the SCG, which in 2021 he won the contract to cater.
Merivale recently paid $200 million for a collection of Sydney CBD buildings.

Kantay House is the third Harry Norris building to hit the market recently: last year, Forza Capital paid c$80m for the 11 level Nicholas Building, at 31-41 Swanston St, on the south west corner of Flinders Ln, while Sherbrooke’s Burnham Beeches sold for a hospitality venue.

Merivale doubles down in Melbourne’s CBD

The Meyers Pl deal comes two years since Mr Hemmes outlaid $43m for the c1853 Tomasetti House, over seven levels at 277-279 Flinders Lane, now set for a multi-million dollar makeover.

That property was the hospitality veteran’s first Victorian investment.

Also in 2021, Merivale acquired the Lorne Hotel which recently reopened as Totti’s.

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Marc Pallisco

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