Mirvac May Sell Como For $200 Million

Well placed industry sources say boutique developer Fridcorp is close to buying the mixed use office, retail, cinema and hotel building, on the north east corner of Toorak Road and Chapel Street, in an off-market deal.

News of a potential sale comes a month after Mirvac halted trading for three days, to formulate a major capital raising offer, after its share price dipped below $1.

Mirvac media spokeswoman Kate Lander declined to comment on any part of a Como sale, when contacted by The Age.

Fridcorp managing director Paul Fridman also declined to comment.

Mirvac was reported to have paid $93.35 million for the Como property in June 1998, in a deal reflecting a 9.6 per cent yield. The building and associated land parcels were sold by a Malaysian and Australian consortium, Royalmist, which included the Myer family trust. The consortium paid $70 million for Como five years earlier.

The Como building is at a prominent corner many retail leasing agents dub the most expensive for rents, outside of the Central Business District. It also has major redevelopment potential.

In August, Fridcorp paid about $10 million for the former Salt nightclub site in Claremont Street, and is proposing a major residential and retail project.

That Salt site is in the former South Yarra industrial precinct known as Forrest Hill. Redevelopment of this precinct will include a new walkway connecting the South Yarra train station to Chapel Street, diverting pedestrians from Toorak Road. This entire precinct is undergoing a major development boom, as old warehouses and factories are replaced with uber modern offices, shops and apartments.

A proposal for a 38-level, 204-unit apartment building across the road from Como, and on the site of the Capitol Bakeries building, was recently rejected by council. That application will now be considered by the Victorian and Civil Administrative Tribunal. That site was once also earmarked to be an Apple Store.

Other major proposals in the area include a $700 million redevelopment of the Jam Factory building in Chapel Street, and a high rise apartment building, for a site on the south-west corner of Chapel Street and Alexandra Avenue, near Melbourne High School.

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Marc Pallisco

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

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