Liberal Party sells city HQ Centenary Hall to Rolex for $37.1 million

A picture of Centenary Hall at 104 Exhibition Street taken during the second World War. Source: Wikipedia.

The Liberal Party’s Victorian division has sold its long-time Melbourne CBD headquarters to luxury watch retailer Rolex for $37.1 million.

Centenary Hall at 104 Exhibition Street was acquired by the Liberals for $576,000 in 1976.

Part owner-occupied and part used as an investment, the property, built in 1935, hit the market in late August with a price guide of more than $30 million.

On a 444 square metre plot at the south-east corner of Little Collins Street, the six-level building is selling to an as-yet-unknown luxury retail brand, which will owner-occupy.

Centenary Hall contains more than 2500 sqm of lettable area. It was refurbished in 1995, 2002 and 2008. In 2001, the Liberals unsuccessfully tried to sell the property’s air-rights.

Colliers International’s Daniel Wolman, Matthew Stagg and Oliver Hay managed the most recent sale campaign.

The agents said they fielded more than 110 inquiries, resulting in 10 bids.

Mr Wolman said “the final bidder was a very high-end luxury retail brand who have purchased the building with plans to owner-occupy for their Melbourne headquarters”.

The purchaser is represented by King Independent Property Advisers.

The sale price values each sqm of area at a high $16,100

“With high profile ground floor tenants and being located in one of Melbourne’s most blue-chip corner locations, it is no wonder that several offers came in with a return of circa three per cent,” Mr Stagg said. “The growth potential in the East End of the CBD is forecast to continue with vacancy rates at 1.4 per cent and the new $1.8 billion development being constructed by QIC directly across the road”.

The Liberal party is set to vacate 104 Exhibition Street by this time next year.

Marc Pallisco

A freelance property writer and analyst, Marc is a co-founder of realestatesource.com.au.

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