Neville Crichton has snapped up neighbouring showrooms on the Collingwood side of busy Victoria Parade.
The New Zealand born, Sydney based car importer is speculated to be paying c$18.3 million for the 2312 square metre amalgamation.
Local agency sources say they are earmarked for a Maserati dealership however the buyer said that isn’t confirmed.
“We own several properties in the area and are still deciding what to put where,” the executive said.
“But they will absolutely be for occupation,” he added.
Mr Crichton, who turns 78 in June, has a net worth of c$800m.
Collingwood is two kilometres east of the CBD.
More inner-city dealerships
Mr Crichton, via his Ateco Group, holds the Australian and New Zealand rights to sell, amongst other makes, Alfa Romeo, Alpine, BYD (Build Your Dream), Fiat, Jeep, LDV, RAM and Renault.
He formerly had a partnership with Ferrari – which in 2016 decided to take its local brand back internally – and Citroën.
Elsewhere on Victoria Pde, Collingwood, Porsche maintains a major showroom at #103-133 – an 8742 sqm holding owned by Melbourne Pathology.
Another property it occupies in the suburb, on Rupert Street, was recently listed for sale by the Selby family as part of a $50m portfolio.
In nearby Richmond, meanwhile, Volkswagen controls a dealership, as do local prestige car dealers, Bobby Zagame, who owns Zagame Prestige Automotive, and Gavin Fernandez and George Nakas, who operate Dutton Garage, a subsidiary of Dutton Group (story continues below).
High profile row
The biggest Crichton acquisition, 169-177 Victoria Pde, covering 2003 sqm at the north west corner of Cromwell St, opposite Bunnings, cost c$15m.
With 23 car parks and a 1993 sqm showroom over two floors, and also with Rupert St access, this property is occupied by industrial equipment supplier Wm C Jackson, but traded with vacant possession.
The smaller asset, 165 Victoria Pde, sold for over $3.3m; it contains 425 sqm over two levels, and four car parks.
The purchases come a day since we reported Regis Healthcare co-founder Brian Dorman acquired a Richmond showroom occupied by Zagame Prestige Automotive for $45.5m from the Anassis family, of Richmond Oyster Bar fame.
In 2020, meanwhile, UEM Sunrise paid the owners of Jowett Motor Group $43m for a row of Hoddle St, Collingwood, dealerships, trading marques Honda, Nissan and Hyundai, for a residential project.
Not long earlier, Eagers Automotive major shareholder Nick Politis, who like Mr Crichton, is Sydney based, outlaid $11.2m for a Hawthorn East commercial building it was speculated he might occupy longer term.
Several car dealerships south of the Yarra River traded last year too including Mercedes Toorak, snapped up by apartment developer Orchard Piper for $67m, and the former Subaru Interactive dealership, in Docklands, which was picked up by Nick Theodossi, for $50.5m.
Teska Carson’s Matthew Feld and Michael Taylor marketed #169-177 publicly and negotiated the sale of #165 off market.
Both holdings have development upside, able to accommodate 15-level plus towers.
Also this month, Stonebridge Property Group’s Max Warren, Dylan Kilner and Shawn Luo listed a Collingwood retail property permit-ready for a six storey apartment complex, next to the South of Johnson café and a restaurant, Orlo, set to be run by celebrity chef George Calombaris.
At 48 Oxford St, that asset carries a $3m-plus guide.
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