The prominent building, with a 36 metre Bourke Street frontage, was constructed in 1965 as the Walton’s Department store.
Both Walton and Village separately owned the property for the majority of time they occupied it. Challenger International seized control when it acquired Village Roadshow Asset management in 1999. It sold the building to Queensland-based Cromwell for $31.9 million in March 2004.
Cromwell sold it to Smith and Macquarie for $34.3 million in April 2007.
Despite the large block size, many developers were disinterested in the Village City Centre when it was offered in 2004, and 2007. The lack of natural light, coupled with inflexible sloping floors make cinemas costly to rebuild.
However rebuild the Village is exactly what the consortium did, and now 206 Bourke Street’s biggest claim to fame is that it houses Melbourne’s largest karaoke venue.
The fully leased asset returns $7.65 million in annual rent from almost 11,933 square metres of net lettable area. The Rainbow Entertainment Complex – which includes 44 private karaoke rooms and a sports bar, restaurant and pool hall, occupies 2737 square metres and is the building’s biggest tenant.
According to Savills director Clinton Baxter, who is marketing the investment with Dominic Long, just 20 per cent of the new development is configured as offices. This component is fully leased to Navitas’s Australian College of Applied Psychology.
Smith and Macquarie – the company often dubbed “The Millionaire Factory” – are said to be expecting a sale price of about $100 million.
Though the renovated Bourke Street complex is fully leased, it could present as a development opportunity.
In recent years, two new office towers, to be developed atop stilts, have been proposed outside the Galleria shopping centre at 385 Bourke Street, and near the former Le Louvre boutique at 74 Collins Street.