Law firm buys shop to extend office

The Murray Place property from a 2011 sales campaign.

Arnold Thomas & Becker is the latest business to buy a property to occupy.

Spreading 68 square metres, the vacant shop, 10 Murray Place, Ringwood, abuts the group’s existing local office (image, top, Google Street View), which it moved into in 2019 and is exposed to Maroondah Highway’s commercial precinct.

Chemist Warehouse’s owners recently purchased adjoining Kew Junction shops to occupy.

The side-street building, which years ago traded as the Peter Verey Children’s Shoe Specialist, cost the law firm $450,000 – or $6618 per sqm – following an off-market deal by Gorman Kelly’s Gerard Gleeson.

The capital value will balloon once the property is amalgamated with the Maroondah Hwy address.

The result reflects a c4.2 per cent net market yield.

In April, ATB outlaid $3.15m for Geelong’s prominent Victoria House – rising seven storeys at 79-81 Moorabool Street – again to occupy.

Occupier buys again

Despite eight interest rate rises, many high-profile occupiers are seeing more sense buying over renting this year.

This quarter alone, the owners of Chemist Warehouse snapped up two High Street style shops, in Forest Hill, on Springvale Road, and the Kew Junction (story continues below).

Doctors last month purchased Seaford’s ex-Westpac branch for a medical centre.

At Seaford, ONA Medical picked up an ex-Westpac branch, to occupy – spending $1.85m.

Also in the south east, last month, café owner Julien Moussi acquired an ex-milk bar, at McKinnon, for a business.

That outlay was $1.106m.

VicRoads pre-committed to 57 per cent of 110 Maroondah Highway then rented the balance while it was under construction.

In June, ASX-listed Joyce Corporation, for its Bedshed brand, paid $3.5m for a showroom in Ballarat’s north west Wendouree.

Not long earlier, E&S Trading owner Rob Sinclair spent $6.9m on a collection of Abbotsford properties including the Johnston St store he has rented since 2014; Quinn Reynolds Linc Reynolds and Marcus Quinn brokered that deal.

Ringwood – a major activity centre 20 kilometres from town – is also one of the shortest in supply for high quality office space, leasing agents say.

The suburb’s newest commercial building, QIC’s 110 Maroondah Highway, contains c13,000 sqm – nearly half of which was intended to be bought to market last year before VicRoads, which previously pre-committed to the balance, took it in 2020.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of