Not for profit lists enormous inner city childcare centre for lease

The Brunswick site spreads 3504 square metres.

Melbourne City Mission has listed the second of its two early learning centres for lease – part of a move to focus on services.

The renovated centre contains 1443 square metres of internal area.

The historic, renovated Hartnett House, owned by the group for more than a century, covers an enormous 3504 square metres over two streets in inner north Brunswick.

One of the outdoor play areas at Hartnett House.

Operating as MCM Early Years Hub Hartnett House, or the Hartnett House Children’s Centre, the renovated building contains 1443 sqm of internal area, licensed for 126 children.

The suburb – gentrifying for some three decades and at the moment, undergoing a high-density residential building boom – has seen population growth circle three per cent annually, CBRE’s Sandro Peluso, who is representing MCM with Jimmy Tat, said.

“Hartnett House Children’s Centre has been in high demand, reflecting its strategic location and offering,” he added.

“A longstanding and heritage-listed facility with a history spanning over 100 years, it has been well maintained with improvements dedicated to early learning and supplementary offices plus staff spaces,” according to the executive.

Start of a new era

MCM established a maternity home at the property, 123 Albion St, having outgrown a Brunswick East premises.

The site previously (between 1888-1892) operated as girl’s home, run by the Salvation Army.

Construction of the current building – the Edwardian component facing Albion St – started in 1910.

In 1934, the red brick building facing Austin St was added.

The holding was branded Hartnett House in 1958 – by that stage it was a counselling centre as well as a healthcare hub, orphanage, and adoption agency (story continues below).

Hartnett House was developed from 1910.

Use changed several times including after 1984, when the landlord terminated family support services.

A penthouse level Moonee Ponds childcare centre was recently offered for lease.

MCM ceased accommodating residents by the 1990s.

As well as the childcare centre, part of the property was used as MCM’s northern base.

The not-for-profit also runs a childcare centre at Doreen.

High demand, short supply: agents

Hartness Houe is seven kilometres from the CBD, near the Sydney Road retail strip and activity centres, Coburg and Moonee Ponds – all which have been experiencing rapid population growth, especially over the past 20 years.

“The property showcases both old and new architectural features and a desirable floorplan with plenty of additional space, easily catering for top-tier childcare operators,” Mr Tat said.

It is also in a catchment with strong immediate demand but minimal supply – now or in the pipeline, he added.

There are also 28 car parks.

The listing comes three months since the new owners of the ex-Australian Taxation Office, in Moonee Ponds, offered it for lease after committing to repurposing it as a childcare centre.

Subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of this page.

Share or Recommend article

Marc Pallisco

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