A three-level building housing one of Melbourne’s most iconic restaurants sold at auction yesterday for $8.1 million.
Opened by Freddy (Neiphytos) Tsindos, but managed for the last 11 years by his son, Harry, the eatery has four more years left to run on a lease.
At the south-east corner of Heffernan Lane, the investment offers 328 square metres of floor area.
It sits on a 137 sqm which marketing agency CBRE promoted for its redevelopment potential.
The property is about 200 metres from major city retail centres Emporium and Melbourne Central. QV is across the road.
Brokers Julian White, Alex Brierley, Nathan Mufale and Leon Ma promoted the “substantial rental uplift potential” of 197 Lonsdale Street – piquing the interest of Greek media outlet Neo∑ Ko∑mo∑, which yesterday posted this item about whether the restaurant can continue to run at the address after 2023.
The building has a 1am liquor licence and outdoor seating permit.
Seven parties – three locals and four international investors – contested for the property.
It sold for $2 million over the reserve to a Taiwan-based buyer who had only flown in to Melbourne and inspected the property on Wednesday.
According to CityScope, the vendor, lawyer, Greg Antippa, paid $300,000 for the holding in 1980.
This pocket of Lonsdale Street, between Swanston and Russell streets, is considered Melbourne’s “Greek precinct” – but its relevance has declined in recent decades as retailers and hospitality operators have shut.
That said, the Lonsdale Street Greek Festival – advertised as Melbourne’s biggest street party – has been hosted around Tsindos for 32 years.
“The precinct originally came to life though the post-war immigrants – many of whom came as single men, or men who had left their families to pave the way in the new land,” according to the Lonsdale Street Greek Precinct website. “They were in search of familiar food and music, for Greek language, newspapers and company and thus this hub for Greek-Australians manifested”.
“It has since blossomed and changed in form but still sits as a representation of the Greeks of Melbourne, as well as an entertainment, arts and culture hub”.
Outside of Greece, Melbourne accommodates more Grecians than any other city in the world.
The sale of 197 Lonsdale Street comes two weeks after we reported, exclusively, that a shop in nearby Chinatown sold for $6.85 million, a deal which reflects a 3.3 per cent passing yield.
That three level building, 22-26 Corrs Lane, is listed on the Heritage Council of Victoria database for its potential to contain archaeological remains associated with the growth of early Melbourne.