Rob Sinclair beats developers to Abbotsford amalgamation

E&S took over the 333-339 Johnston St lease with its 2014 purchase of Elite Appliances.

E&S Trading co-owner Rob Sinclair snapped up neighbouring Abbotsford properties on Wednesday for $6.9 million.

In the biggest deal, the businessman outlaid $5.25m for a two storey office/showroom his retailer occupies on a 700 square metre L-shaped site covering 333-339 Johnston Street and 20-24 Hunter.

Rob Sinclair purchased 331 Johnston Street an hour after snapping up #333-339.

The property was auctioned an hour before a neighbouring terrace-converted-workplace at #331 Johnston – a 205 sqm holding surrounded by the E&S showroom – which Mr Sinclair went on to purchase for $1.65m, also via public sale, it is speculated with plans to occupy for extra retail or office space.

Offered by separate vendors, the assets were expected to attract developers – providing three street frontages and zoned Commercial 1.

The amalgamation is diagonally adjacent to a 2428 sqm site Geoff Brady’s Amber Property Group snapped up earlier this month for $22.02m, it is understood with plans for a hotel.

Its western boundary abuts the ex-Yarra Honda site (329 Johnston St, at the south east corner of Nicholson St), which last sold two years ago for just over $7m permit-ready for a residential based development containing seven storey buildings.

Also in the area, Charlie Buxton’s Cadence Property Group has earmarked an office for an ex-Spotless cleaning factory, in Trenerry Crescent.

Sydney based fund manager EG, meanwhile, last year outlaid $27.3m for a low-rise office on the banks of the Yarra River, in Victoria St, Abbotsford, on behalf of a fund known to add value by developing sites (story continues below).

With the purchase of 331 Johnston Street (outlined), E&S controls a 900 sqm Commercial 1 zoned site.

That parcel spreads 3743 sqm.

Hub of activity

Mr Sinclair and his brother, Mike, have in recent years been growing the E&S business established by their father, Bob, six decades ago.

In 2014, the retailer took over Elite Appliances which operated from the Abbotsford property which just sold since the 1990s (that deal also gave the pair stores in Hawthorn and Prahran).

Quinn Reynolds’ Linc Reynolds and Marcus Quinn marketed 333-339 Johnston St, which also includes 10 car parks.

Colliers’ Ted Dwyer was the agent on #331.

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Marc Pallisco

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