News Corp Australia sells Leader HQ in Melbourne’s Blackburn for $30.2 million

An artist’s impression of the nine-storey apartment complex mooted for 160 Whitehorse Road, Blackburn.

Vantage Property Investments has paid $30.2 million for the Blackburn headquarters of Melbourne’s Leader newspaper group.

News Corp Australia reported the disposal of its asset, 1 Chapel Street, in the Herald Sun.

The deal for the investment, which contains a 6059 square metre office (pictured, top) part-leased to Leader, was made months after Vantage Property Investments disposed of two other suburban Melbourne assets, in Box Hill and Mulgrave, for a total of $24.5 million.

In July, a neighbouring property once occupied by Leader staff – the former Lexus of Blackburn site – traded to Pace Development Group for $23.85 million.

News Corp Australia sold this 8767 sqm holding, 160 Whitehorse Road, to developer Blackburn Blossom for $19.8 million in 2015. Blackburn Blossom flipped it three months after winning approval to replace it with a nine-storey project containing 263 flats (artist’s impression, above, left).

Both recent property deals – 1 Chapel Street and 160 Whitehorse Road – were negotiated by CBRE.

Of the 1 Chapel Street campaign, marketing agent Scott Orchard said the sale price is the largest for any office outside of the CBD and city-fringe for the year-to-date.

Based on the net lettable area, the result reflects a building rate of around $5,000 a sqm, he added.

“White-collar employment growth, tenant demand and rising rents, coupled with increased investor capital from local, interstate and Asian buyers, is underpinning buyer interest and pricing in Melbourne’s suburban office sector,” Mr Orchard said. ““This is prompting an increasing number of long-term office property owners to capitalise on the current strong market conditions and explore divestment opportunities.”

Mr Orchard marketed 1 Chapel Street with colleague Kiran Pilai.

Leader, which has been based in the Blackburn area for decades, will occupy part of the building on a five-year leaseback.

Marc Pallisco

A freelance property writer and experienced analyst, Marc is the co-founder of realestatesource.com.au

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