Martin Strode’s SMA Projects lists new Fitzroy supermarket built on the site of theatre The Star Lyric

Developer Martin Strode is selling the strata-titled supermarket on the ground floor of an apartment complex which has replaced 1910s art nouveau-style theatre The Star Lyric.

The director of SMA Projects can expect more than $10 million from the disposal, according to sources.

With 1402 square metres of retail space and 49 car parks, the offering will provide the new owner several years of depreciation (tax) benefits.

Aldi is paying starting annual rent of $640,000 for the Fitzroy supermarket (marked) and 49 car parks.

Occupied by Aldi on a lease expiring in 2029 with two-10 year (renewal) options, the investment, 239-245 Johnston Street, returns starting annual rent of $640,000.

The apartment complex, on the north east corner of Gore Street, replaced a building formerly occupied by furniture maker Jimmy Possum and part of the historic MacRobertson Garage – as well as the theatre.

Mr Strode has appointed Teska Carson’s Adrian Boutsakis and Larry Takis to market the Aldi component.

Nothing to see here…anymore

Construction of The Lyric complex saw the demolition of The Star Lyric – commonly later known as ‘The Lyric’ or ‘Lyric’.

The Star Lyric was one of Melbourne’s first silent-picture theatres, screening for three decades until 1952.

For years until it was razed, an enormous rendered blue wall hid the structure from public view.

A report submitted as part of the redevelopment application said there was little historic value to the former cinema, given the façade had been repeatedly altered.

That said, Yarra City Council rejected SMA Projects’ proposal on the basis of height, the impact it would have on nearby heritage buildings – and because it would provide another liquor outlet to the precinct, which already accommodates a high number of licensed venues.

But in 2015, Mr Strode found favour for his 158-unit complex with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (though in the end, SMA Projects offered 155 for sale).

More Fitzroy major projects mooted

In July, we reported that Pace Development Group outlaid $20 million for a 2434 sqm site on the north-west corner of Johnston and Gore streets (so opposite The Lyric).

This site, with a low-rise warehouse at 369 Gore Street built more than 100 years ago for Argyle Shirts, is also expected to make way for a residential tower the same height, or taller, than SMA Projects’.

In March, developer Pellicano paid c$11 million for an 860 square metre Fitzroy retail site at 207 Victoria Parade, on the north west corner of Smith Street, where it plans to build an office.

Last month, the owners of hairdressing supplies business Turnleys listed a double storey Fitzroy office at 1-9 Gertrude Street, near the north east corner of Nicholson Street, via GormanCommercial’s Tom Maule.

This 1147 sqm building is arguably under-utilising the 899 sqm plot.

The vendors acquired the Gertrude Street asset for $840,000 in 1987.

Pace Development Group paid c$20 million for this Fitzroy site in July – as we reported first.

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Marc Pallisco

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