Longriver proposes bigger hotel at ex-Theosophical Society HQ

Longriver’s proposed hotel at 124-134 Russell Street.

Longriver Group has quietly snapped up two shops neighbouring the former Melbourne Theosophical Society headquarters – allowing it to build an even bigger hotel.

Both retail properties were held by one entity.

Number 134 Russell St, on 157 square metres at the south east corner of Melbourne Lane, cost $9.47 million.

The other – #132 – spreading 119 sqm, set the buyer back $7.17m.

The developer is now proposing a $150m guesthouse, Russell Place, with 190 rooms over 13 floors (pictured above, right); completion of the approved Kennedy Nolan project is scheduled in 2023.

Two years ago Longriver won permission for a similar height inn, but with 160 micro-suites (story continues below).

The c1923 building will be demolished for the hotel.

Showroom days are numbered

Longriver paid MTS $20.8m-ex GST for 124-130 Russell St in 2017.

On 519 sqm, that block contains a five-level building once used as an Olympia Motors showroom, which sold Durant, Wolsely and Rugby vehicles.

It has little heritage value; the City of Melbourne repeatedly issuing permits which would see it demolished.

The off-market deals for #132 and #134 were negotiated by Emmetts’ Charles Emmett.

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Marc Pallisco

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