South Melbourne office developed by Andor Schwartz for sale

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 owner of 67-69 Buckhurst Street, occupier, Stowe Australia, can expect about $7.45 million.

The 902 square metre holding is in the heart of the Fishermans Bend urban renewal precinct – and as such is 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.

The site (outlined), walking distance to the Melbourne CBD, Docklands and Southbank, could make way for a c12 storey building.

The property 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-storey complex earmarked for construction at nearby 202 Normanby Street.

Three months earlier we reported that Capital Alliance appointed Crema Group to start building a 40-level mixed use complex at 240 Normanby Street, part of which will be occupied as a hotel operated by AC Marriott.

Dixon Kestles director Simon Regan is representing Stowe Australia.

But developers might find competition

Land bankers, investors and owner occupiers are also expected to show an interest in 67-69 Buckhurst Street, which is configured with 1800 sqm of office and warehouse space over two levels.

The commercial 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 office rents outside of the CBD – more than $500 per sqm, per annum, for Prime-grade stock.

This office has historically attracted successful corporate occupiers

Mr Regan said 67-69 Buckhurst has traditionally attracted successful corporate tenants – Cockram Interiors, Cybergraphics Systems and Senteg amongst them.

Perhaps the highest profile, the agent said, was AWA (the acronym for Amalgamated Wireless Australasia), which developed defence electronics such as antisubmarine technology.

Stowe Australia, a 110 year old business, acquired the South Melbourne premises 16 years ago.

Last October it bought an office in the neighbouring suburb of Port Melbourne, to occupy after Buckhurst Street.

Mr Regan is also representing the owner to lease the South Melbourne building.

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 $92 million portfolio included 170 year old hotel Duke of Wellington – Melbourne’s oldest licensed venue – which Andor bought for $4.5 million in 2003.

Some of the patriarch’s other developments include a series of buildings between 198-222 Normanby Road, 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 Street and 115-125 Cecil Street, in South Melbourne.

Renovated staff rooms at 67-69 Buckhurst Street, South Melbourne (above and below).
The Buckhurst Street building contains 1800 square metres of office and warehouse area over two floors.

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Marc Pallisco

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

Marc Pallisco