Luxcon buys rundown East Melbourne office for prestige apartment project The Address

Luxcon Developments intends to create a prestige apartment complex out of an East Melbourne building it is picking up off-market for c$30 million opposite Fitzroy Gardens.

The nine level B-grade office on the site had been owned by Run Property founder Nathan Cher via Yentaprises Pty Ltd, since 2002.

The purchaser is also acquiring it under a company name – Address Melbourne Pty Ltd – registering a caveat in late March.

It is already promoting the proposed redevelopment of 372-380 Albert Street as The Address, and inviting expressions of interest from buyers on its website.

A permit is expected to be lodged, with Luxcon anticipating a completion date of end-2021.

The Sydney developer has chosen one of Melbourne’s most exclusive suburbs to make its mark; 13 years ago a $20m unit at 150 Clarendon Street sold off-the-plan setting a Victorian record for a flat.

More have traded for eight figure sums since then.

Salta founder Sam Tarascio’s full-floor penthouse, also at 150 Clarendon Street, is speculated to be worth well in excess of $50m, according to sources.

The view Luxcon is promoting for its luxury residential redevelopment, The Address, at 372-380 Albert Street, East Melbourne.

Soon there will be no development sites left opposite Fitzroy Gardens

The sale of 372-380 Albert Street comes five months after Queensland developer Pask Group paid the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists $22m for its East Melbourne headquarters, also in the street and opposite Fitzroy Gardens.

That 1533 square metre parcel, 254-260 Albert Street, contains a heritage building, College House, which can’t be demolished.

However the zoning allows for the airspace to be replaced with a structure of about 14 floors.

The RANZCOG site is next door to The Eastbourne, a high-end residential complex co-developed by Sydney’s Mirvac and Freemasons Victoria in place of Dallas Brooks Hall.

One of this generation’s most significant East Melbourne prestige apartment projects, 150 Clarendon Street, was constructed by Salta on the former Mercy Maternity Hospital immediately following the 2007 Global Financial Crisis.

It contains 88 oversized flats – despite the builder being permitted to construct more.

Newsworthy at the time, entry level (one bedroom) units came with seven figure price tags.

Coincidentally, the sub-penthouse which sold for $20m in this complex off-the-plan – was relisted with $46m price hopes a year ago this week – later reduced to $36-$39.6m before being withdrawn in August.

Opposite Treasury Gardens, Cbus Property recently started developing a 35-storey residential tower, at 13-23 Spring Street.

It will also contain (84) large dwellings.

The builder adopted a similar strategy selling oversized units at a high rate per square metre when replacing a former brown rendered government office at 35 Spring Street with a 44-storey residential building three years ago.

In September, 2018, iProsperity paid $200m for Pullman on the Park, formerly Hilton Hotel, at the north east corner of Clarendon Street and Wellington Parade, East Melbourne – a building which could, like 372-380 Albert Street, be re-purposed into a residential project.

The city view over Fitzroy Gardens from an eighth floor apartment at 150 Clarendon Street, East Melbourne, which RT Edgar sold for $6.7 million in late 2018.

But the parkside East Melbourne and CBD apartment sector is not without its faults: several units at 150 Clarendon Street are known to have sold for lower sums than they were acquired off-the-plan.

Last year a high-end apartment proposal at 85 Spring Street, above Parliament train station, failed to sell out after heavy marketing, especially in print.

Developer Jeff Xu’s Golden Age Group quietly offloaded this site to Proporium Capital Partners, which with the financial backing of Hong Kong listed property giant CC Land, is proposing to renovate and retain the 16-level Esanda office currently on the block.

The 372-380 Albert Street deal was negotiated by MMJ Real Estate director Joel Wald.

The Address: “redefining the concept of exclusivity and privacy”: developer

Luxcon has branded its East Melbourne project The Address.

Penned by Woods Bagot, it will include 24 oversized two and three bedroom apartments.

Two additional dwellings beneath the penthouse are designed with infinity pools.

“All of the residences will enjoy unprecedented, never to be built out views over Fitzroy Gardens and/or the Melbourne CBD,” the builder is marketing.

“Most apartments will benefit from direct lift access from the basement and ground floor, redefining the concept of exclusivity and privacy”.

They will also feature ceiling heights of 2.8-3 metres.

On the north east corner of Lansdowne Street, the complex also promises to have a high car park ratio and ground floor retail with “carefully selected” tenants “to ensure it provides lifestyle and amenity for all residents”.

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Marc Pallisco

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

Marc Pallisco