Sector Property Group to bring inner-city glam to one of Huntingdale’s largest commercial sites

Sector Property Group has snapped up one of Huntingdale’s biggest commercial sites with plans to create a premium quality office and warehouse complex, which will be subdivided and offered for sale or lease.

The first pieces of the former Acoustic Engineering Services (AES) headquarters at 26-28 Hargreaves Street – two large and high-quality warehouses – hit the market last week.

A third component of the redevelopment includes converting a high character brick building with about 20 strata titled suites.

Sector managing director David Loakes said the Huntingdale project is a break from what his company has predominantly developed.

The builder is behind The BASE mixed-use small warehousing, strata office and storage complexes, which have now been constructed in Mitcham, Point Cook and Yarraville.

Sector has also developed two Workspace branded business park in Melbourne’s inner west.

This year, the group developed a childcare centre Melbourne’s east, which sold it in August for $7.1 million after securing a 15-year tenant pre-commitment.

Artist’s impression of two warehouses being configured out of Huntingdale’s former AES headquarters. A third component of Sector’s redevelopment will see about 20 strata offices designed into to a brick building fronting Shafton Street.

What is planned for the AES site?

Despite not settling on the property until next month, Sector has already started on its renovation.

The façades of all buildings have been painted while new lobbies have been created along with bike storage and end of trip facilities.

As part of the renovation, the developer will retain solid brickwork, steel windows and exposed trusses – creating an industrial feel similar to that inner-city occupiers pay a premium to rent in suburbs like Abbotsford, Collingwood and Richmond.

Both Huntingdale properties also offer frontage to both Hargreaves and Clifford streets.

The warehouses

The bulk of the former AES headquarters will make way for two contemporary office/warehouses.

These are available for sale – at $3.25 million each, or $6 million for the two.

Alternatively, each can be rented for $185,000 per annum – or $331,000 for both.

Each warehouse’s exterior is designed for large signage.

The warehouses measure 1240 and 1280 sqm, have three metre high clearance, 175 sqm of storage space and car parking for up to 11 vehicles.

Mr Loakes said he said he was driven to invest in the Huntingdale factory “as there is a zero per cent vacancy for this type of product in the whole City of Monash”.

“These warehouses are between five and 10 times the size of the suburb’s normal product,” he said, adding “there is more demand for bigger spaces in Huntingdale at the moment than smaller ones”.

Colliers International’s Harry Larwill and Andrew Chrapot with CBRE’s Bryce Pane and Sasan Misaghian are the marketing agents.

Strata titled offices

About 20 premium-quality strata office suites are also planned for a double-storey brick building, the bulk of which faces Shafton Street.

Sector expects to market these workplaces for sale and lease early next year.

If all find buyers, the strata suites would return a total of about $5 million.

The Huntingdale warehouses (outlined) are about 20 kilometres south east of the Melbourne CBD.

AES site at the heart of the Monash National Employment and Innovation Cluster

The AES factory spreads a 3612 square metre block, with three street frontages, about 20 kilometres south east of the Melbourne CBD.

Walking distance to the Huntingdale train station, the site is within the revered Monash National Employment and Innovation Cluster (Monash NEIC) – Melbourne’s second biggest employment hub, after the CBD, and which also incorporates sites in Clayton, Mulgrave and Notting Hill.

A train station is earmarked for the precinct as part of the Suburban Rail Loop infrastructure project, set to start construction in 2022.

According to the Victorian Planning Authority, Monash NEIC accommodates 75,000 jobs and industries which contribute $9.4 billion annually to the Victorian economy.

It anticipates that employment numbers within the Monash NEIC could double over the next 30 years.

The Huntingdale site as seen from Clifford Street.

Huntingdale incentives have decreased 18 per cent this year: Colliers International

Mr Chrapot said Huntingdale and its surrounds are undergoing “a major revitalisation…attracting high profile companies such as Carmen’s Muesli and Assa Abloy”.

The AES property is close to the Princes Highway, North Road, Huntingdale Road and the Monash Freeway. 

“The demand for business’ to be within this precinct are undeniable due to the areas tightly held nature, proximity to extensive public transport networks and amenity as well as Melbourne’s CBD,” the agent said.

Colliers International research said that over the past 12 months, office warehouse incentive levels in Huntingdale have decreased 18 per cent (contributing to an effective rent rise of 7 per cent).

Two warehouses, measuring 1240 and 1280 square metres, are for sale or lease.
Sector plans to build high-end offices into the warehouses.

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Marc Pallisco

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

Marc Pallisco