A South Melbourne office developed in the 1980s by Andor Schwartz – the esteemed late father of current generation Melbourne property heavyweights Alan, Danny and Morry – is for sale.
The vendors, owners of electrical contractor Stowe Australia, have occupied 67-69 Buckhurst Street for 16 years.
The 902 square metre holding is in the heart of the Fishermans Bend urban renewal precinct – and as such expected to be contested by developers.
On land rezoned Capital City 1 by former planning minister Matthew Guy in 2012 – it could make way for a c12-storey project.
It is opposite the much larger Carlins car auction house site which seven years ago was the subject of a planning application which could have seen it replaced with four buildings of between 27-38 levels.
Last September, hotelier Oakwood, a subsidiary of Singapore’s Mapletree Investments, leased part of a 40-floor complex earmarked for construction at nearby 202 Normanby St.
Three months earlier Capital Alliance appointed Crema Group to start building a 40-storey mixed use complex at 240 Normanby St, part of which will be occupied as a hotel operated by AC Marriott.
Dixon Kestles director Simon Regan is representing the Stowe Australia directors.
But developers might find competition
Land bankers, investors and owner occupiers are also expected to show an interest in 67-69 Buckhurst St, which is configured with 1800 sqm of office and warehouse space over two levels.
The building is a block from Melbourne Exhibition Centre, walking distance to the CBD, Docklands and Southbank.
South Melbourne, along with Cremorne and Collingwood, commands some of the highest asking commercial rents outside of the CBD – more than $500 per sqm, per annum, for Prime-grade stock (story continues below).
This office has historically attracted successful corporate occupiers
Mr Regan said 67-69 Buckhurst St has traditionally attracted successful corporate tenants – Cockram Interiors, Cybergraphics Systems and Senteg amongst them.
Perhaps the highest profile, the agent added, was AWA (the acronym for Amalgamated Wireless Australasia), which developed defence electronics such as antisubmarine technology.
Stowe Australia is a 110 year old business.
Last October its owners bought an office in the neighbouring suburb of Port Melbourne to occupy after Buckhurst St.
In case a buyer can’t be found for South Melbourne, Mr Regan is also representing the owner to lease it.
Schwartz family still property industry heavyweights
A veteran property investor, Andor, and his wife Magit, had three sons who got into the game: Alan directs Qualitas, Danny develops and Pan Urban director, Morry, is also a publisher.
In 2017, the brothers sold an inherited collection of commercial buildings acquired and developed by their parents on the north east corner of Flinders and Russell streets.
This $92m portfolio included 170 year old hotel Duke of Wellington – Melbourne’s oldest licensed venue – which Andor bought for $4.5m in 2003.
Some of the patriarch’s other developments include a series of buildings between 198-222 Normanby St, Southbank, part of which is today occupied by Chrysler Fiat and Jeep (and is mooted for the 40-storey Oakwood hotel) and the former Mytton Rodd stainless steel sink manufacturing plant at 129-141 York St and 115-125 Cecil St, South Melbourne.