Prahran warehouse owner-occupied for 130 years sells for $6.635 million

A mixed-use complex comprising offices and residential, possibly above retail, is expected to replace one of Prahran’s highest profile sites, which sold at a well-attended auction yesterday.

The AW Hinton & Sons building at 49-51 Izett Street was knocked down for $6.635 million – or $1.235 million over reserve.

Vendor the Hinton family had owner-occupied it for commercial purposes since 1890.

Initially a coach builder and horse drawn carriage repairer, the family established a panel beating business there in the 1950s.

A remnant of Prahran’s working-class past – the site is now surrounded by some of the city’s most valuable residential real estate, including apartment buildings.

Prahran Market, large Safeway and Coles supermarkets and the new Prahran Park, which replaced the Cato Street car park, are within a hundred metres of 49-51 Izett Street.

The Izett Street site (outlined, right) is adjacent to the recently opened Prahran Square, which replaced the Cato Street car park.

The double storey warehouse was built, then extended, around a small residential home – of which just one wall remains.

Gross Waddell’s Andrew Waddell and Michael Gross were the marketing agents.

The auction drew 105 bids from six suitors.

Some 200 enquiries were received, the agents added.

Popular Prahran

Last week, we reported Melbourne private investor and developer George Saade listed five retail investment built into the ground floor of the Station Hotel in Greville Street.

Station Hotel, which is opposite Prahran train station, is about 250 metres from 49-51 Izett Street, across Grattan Gardens.

In late 2018, Probuild founder Phil Mehrten sold the former Prahran Post Office, now a swank office, also in Greville Street, for $13.4 million.

Also at about that time, Paul Little lodged plans to co-develop a seven story apartment complex in Grattan Street, Prahran, which is also close to AW Hinton & Sons property.

Last August we reported that Chapter Group sold a multi-level commercial component of a mixed-use building at 101 High Street, Prahran, banking $10.5 million.

Prahran is about five kilometres south of the Melbourne CBD.

Izett Street site underutilised

On a 513 square metre Activity Centre 1 zoned block, the existing building at 49-51 Izett Street occupies the entire site.

It could be considered for a five level structure.

Any redevelopment would offer north-facing views: coincidentally, the Safeway car park rooftop across the road is rated highly amongst photographers for the city vista it captures (in 2018, New York’s Spencer Tunick conducted a high-profile photo shoot at the supermarket site, inviting Melburnians to pose naked).

Gross Waddell said that while the Izett Street property would be a logical apartment development site, the property could suit an office proposal.

Neighbouring South Yarra set for office building boom

Last year we reported that the size of the neighbouring South Yarra commercial sector is set to nearly double by 2023, new projects including:

Newmark Capital is also planning to add about 50,000 sqm of office area to South Yarra as part of its Jam Factory redevelopment which will include four new towers.

Prahran Park, with major skyscrapers around South Yarra’s Forrest Hill precinct in the background.

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Marc Pallisco

A freelance property analyst and journalist, Marc is a co-founder of realestatesource.com.au.

Marc Pallisco