Pace Development Group sells strata retail investment in Abbotsford’s St Crispin House

Blackhearts and Sparrows pays annual rent of more than $100,000 including GST for the 250 square metre Abbotsford space.

Pace Development Group has sold a strata retail investment on the ground floor of its recently completed St Crispin apartment complex in Abbotsford.

The 250 square metre space, 249 Johnston Street, traded for $2.11 million to a South Australian.

Leased to bottle shop Blackhearts and Sparrows for 10 years with fixed annual rises, the result reflects a 4.7 per cent yield.

The retail investment has a 20 metre street frontage.

The rate per square metre of building area is $8,440, according to Liam Rafferty and Jeremy Gruzewski of Aston Commercial, who closed the expressions of interest campaign for 249 Johnston Street last Thursday. It sold Friday.

About two kilometres north east of the city, Pace of Abbotsford, at the Vere Street T-intersection, is a block from Hoddle Street – the Collingwood suburb border.

Victoria Park train station and football stadium are about 100 metres away.

Pace DG acquired the c2300 sqm site which made way for its residential redevelopment in 2015.

The former owner had proposed a 17-level residential project on the 247-259 Johnston Street block.

The 1923 red-brick St Crispin House – which contains the shop Aston Commercial sold – was once partly occupied by the Grimson Shoe Machinery Company. It now forms the lower levels of a 12-storey residential complex with 133 dwellings.

Interstate investor sought Melbourne’s city fringe

Mr Rafferty said the strata retail purchaser was “attracted to the strong lease in place…and evolving city fringe location” and “saw great comfort and future capital growth in the Melbourne market rather than his home state”.

The appetite from investors seeking stock like 249 Johnston Street has intensified with the economic backdrop, the broker added.

“Ultimately with five offers submitted that means there is still a pool of c$8 million looking to buy”.

Last July, Pace DG paid a speculated $20 million for a 2434 sqm development site on the north west corner of Johnston and Argyle streets in Fitzroy – about closer to the city than St Crispin.

Two months ago it sold a compact 11-story, 3084 sqm office at 51 Langridge Street, Collingwood, for $31.6 million.

A month earlier it spent just over $4 million on a Hawthorn East warehouse on a 450 sqm block it intends to replace with an office.

The retail space (marked) is near Victoria Park stadium.

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Marc Pallisco

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