Poly submits new Richmond proposal after snapping up neighbouring site

Poly’s L-shaped proposal covers 150-152 Bridge Road, 1-3 Allowah Terrace and 195 Lennox Street, Richmond.


Poly Global has upped the size but reduced the height of a proposed commercial complex near Richmond’s Pelaco sign after quietly snapping up a neighbouring block.

The Shanghai listed international real estate company is now planning an L-shaped project six levels at its highest.

The six-level office from Bridge Road.

The design includes a laneway connecting 150-152 Bridge Road and 1-3 Allowah Terrace – a 2047 site for which it paid $15.5 million four years ago – to 195 Lennox Street, a 1482 sqm plot which cost $12m last year, off-market.

Its newest property was for generations since 1909 owner-occupied by tobacco merchants Tasman (Tas) Pickett Pty Ltd.

More recently, consultancy Tract controlled it.

A historic retail building at 150-152 Bridge Road will act as an entrance to the office.

The block Poly held since 2016 includes a historic shop and behind it, an 89-bay open air car park and rundown two level commercial building, now earmarked for demolition.

Poly’s plan

Poly’s proposal includes a food and beverage zone and an open-to-the-public wellness centre.

The office will contain 9956 sqm of A-grade quality area, rooftop garden and terrace.

The Pelaco sign atop a five level warehouse-converted-office at 21-31 Goodwood Street, Richmond.

A further 572 sqm fronting Lennox St has been designed for medical use (this land being two blocks from Epworth Hospital).

Some 500 sqm of ground floor retail – much of it flanked around the new laneway and Wustemenn Place, is also anticipated.

A two-storey basement with 114 car parks, 234 bike racks and end-of-trip facilities, is earmarked, too.

If approved, construction could start next year.

The builder has priced the works at $54.2m.

Pelaco sign won’t outshine Richmond’s building boom

Rothelowman’s commercial proposal would rise from the same block as the five-storey warehouse-converted-office at 21-31 Goodwood St, with its landmark c1939 rooftop Pelaco sign (pictured above, right).

Poly’s 195 Lennox St parcel also has an 80 year-old building on it, the former tobacco factory, which will be razed as part of the redevelopment.

However a c1866 mansion, hidden for decades from the street behind a garage, has been incorporated (story continues below).

An 1866 home will be retained as part of Poly’s proposal.

Interestingly, the last site owner, Flagship Property Group, of which Plenary Group is a major shareholder, in 2018 applied to replace the block with two apartment buildings, the tallest rising 12 levels (later reduced to eight, which was approved).

Until recently, Poly had planned for a seven-floor office at 150-152 Bridge Rd and 1-3 Allowah St.

The commercial development from Bridge Road.

An apartment complex of that height has also just been completed in the vicinity (172-174 Lennox St).

Little Projects’ new Dux Apartments, also in the pocket, rises 14 storeys.

Elsewhere in Richmond, Brady Group has earmarked an 11-level hotel at 203-207 Bridge Rd while a six-floor residential building has also just been unveiled on the row, at the north east corner of Hoddle St.

At 484 Swan St, Riverlee and Bamfa Properties are seeking tenants for a 13-level commercial building which will replace an office co-owned between 2000-2009 by former premier Jeff Kennett.

A nine storey tower is mooted for a property next door to the Skipping Girl neon sign, also known as Little Audrey, which sits atop a three-floor office at 651 Victoria St, Abbotsford, about a kilometre north of the Pelaco sign.

Hotspot between hospital and Cremorne cried offices: Poly

When Poly acquired 150-152 Bridge Rd and 1-3 Allowah Tce, it was with the intention of building apartments.

Poly Global senior asset manager, Ronnie Moe, said the city’s “evolving” working culture, particularly its focus on the inner fringe – along with “Cremorne’s highly-occupied ‘Silicon Valley’” sparked the idea to propose something commercial last February.

“Now, particularly as the working culture continues to evolve post COVID-19, we anticipate the evolution to continue to expand within the inner fringe suburbs such as Richmond, where top talent live and now also want to work,” the executive said.

“We are confident in the Richmond commercial market following its continuum of record low vacancy rates.

“Located nearby Epworth Hospital, our 150-152 Bridge Rd and 195 Lennox St project has the opportunity to meet the local supply demand for both office and medical tenancy needs in the community”.

Ryan Cox, the company’s head of design, said amalgamating the sites “allowed us to introduce a new vehicle entry point on Lennox St, removing any previous possible traffic implications on Bridge Rd”.

It also provides an entry point from Lennox St to occupants arriving from Richmond train station, too.

Elsewhere in the suburb, Poly is by October expected to start replacing a former Harry the Hirer warehouse at 171 Buckingham St, with Lily Garden, a 158-dwelling residential village containing six buildings ranging in height up to seven storeys.

Last week it was reported the group is seeking to sell a half share interest in two proposed high-rise offices, at 1000 La Trobe St, in Melbourne’s Docklands, and the Poly Centre Sydney, at that city’s 210 George St.

Four months ago Poly spent $270m on a 26-level office again in the Sydney CBD, at 59 Goulburn Street.

The six storey office behind the 150-152 Bridge Road shop which will form its entrance.
The proposed building will abut a laneway connecting Bridge Road and Lennox Street.

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Marc Pallisco

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