Shakespeare invests again in Sydney

Domain House (marked), opposite Sydney Botanic Gardens.

Shakespeare Property Group is purchasing Domain House – one of four investment grade freehold offices on Sydney’s Macquarie Street – it is understood as a development play.

Any redevelopment of 139 Macquarie Street would offer Opera House views.

The 14 storey building at #139-141, with access to Phillip Lane, off Phillip St, is trading for $132.95 million.

Almost 10 per cent of the 5812 square metres of lettable area is vacant; the Weighted Average Lease Expiry is 2.5 years.

Assuming full occupancy, the market yield is 4.1 per cent.

The deal comes just over two months since Melbourne based Shakespeare made its maiden Sydney acquisition – Surry Hills’ Reservoir on Crown, paying $115m.

Shakespeare acquired Surry Hills’ Reservoir on Crown (marked) in June.

In May, the fund manager, led by Yak Yong Quek, with a sister company, Prime Asset Value, snapped up Gold Coast’s Palazzo Versace hotel for a speculated $114m.

Elsewhere in Queensland, it has since 2018 controlled the Novotel Twin Waters Resort on Sunshine Coast’s Maroochydore.

JLL’s James Aroney, Mitch Noonan with Savills’ Ben Azar and Adrian Bokolis marketed 139 Macquarie St for the family of late television executive and philanthropist Neil Balnaves.

Colliers’ Trent Stephens is the leasing agent.

Development upside

On 578 square metres, Domain House was developed in 1971 (story continues below).

Domain House (centre) was developed in 1971.

Despite a refurbishment three years ago, the office is considered B-grade.

The property was also marketed for its development upside – be it via an extension or new build.

A hotel, apartment tower or mixed use commercial complex incorporating those elements would be allowed given the zoning.

Upper levels of any redevelopment would enjoy north facing Opera House views.

Elsewhere in Sydney’s financial precinct, between Circular Quay and Martin Place, Charter Hall and GIC recently won permission to replace part of Chifley Square’s airspace with a 38 level, 64,654 sqm office, Chifley South, part of which is pre-committed to UBS.

AMP also completed its Quay Quarter Tower, with c89,000 sqm over 50 floors at 50 Bridge St; a 33pc stake in this investment sold to REST for $900m in July.

Last moth we reported JDH Capital spent $210.5m for the 10 storey Sir Stamford Circular Quay, at 93-97 Macquarie St, also with development plans, possibly utilising more airspace.

Further south, facing Hyde Park, Charter Hall in late 2020 paid David Jones $520m for its prime Castlereagh St, which also has frontage to Elizabeth St.

Near to there – again two years ago – Link REIT outlaid $683m for an office at 100 Market St, its first Australian acquisition.

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Marc Pallisco

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