South Yarra’s busiest corner for sale

The Tudor Revival building, with four tenancies, returns $320,000 in annual rent.

A row of four shops at what could be South Yarra’s busiest corner for pedestrian traffic, is for sale.

The Toorak Rd property is being marketed for its potential to make way for a 10-plus level tower.

Covering 613 square metres, 169-175 Toorak Road is opposite South Yarra train station, on the Chapel Street side.

Vicland was recently permitted to build a low-rise office and public plaza opposite South Yarra station and 169-175 Toorak Rd.

The property is being marketed as an investment, value-add or major redevelopment opportunity.

Emmetts managing director Charles Emmett takes it to auction on May 28.

Given local land values, it could sell for more than $8 million.

Last of the major development sites

At the north east corner of Yarra St, 169-175 Toorak Rd is at the edge of South Yarra’s Forrest Hill precinct – which was approved for urban renewal 16 years ago.

The parcel could make way for a 10-plus level tower; it is two holdings from a 30-storey building (Little Projects’ Central South Yarra) and five properties away from the suburb’s tallest structure (Larry Kestelman’s Capitol Grand, with 50 floors).

Zoned Activity Centre, it could be considered for a hotel, office or residential – including Build to Rent.

Any redevelopment would enjoy permanent view security over the heritage-protected train station.

Across the road, Vicland is permitted to construct a low-rise mixed-use project with a public plaza – replacing airspace over the rail line.

US based Greystar is planning two towers over adjoining parcels, on Yarra and Claremont streets – all up containing 500 BTR units, retail and 5000 sqm of offices.

Near to this, Goldfields Group is completing a 24-storey, 24,000 sqm commercial building.

Last month, Gurner and Qualitas acquired an interest in the Jam Factory at 500 Chapel St. With the other co-owner, Newmark Capital, a $1.4 billion redevelopment is now mooted with c600 apartments, offices and 20,000 sqm of retail.

Flagship retail, office

The two storey Tudor Revival building at 169-175 Toorak Rd contains 657 sqm and earns annual income of c$320,000.

Mr Emmett said the four leases have landlord redevelopment break options – opening up the site to owner-occupiers or investors (story continues below).

“The property is arguably South Yarra’s busiest retail corner in terms of pedestrian traffic,” the executive added.

“As well as the redevelopment potential, there are various value-add opportunities, including expanding the ground floor building area, activating the Yarra St frontage and creating a large, consolidated flagship retail tenancy.

“This kind of tenancy may be very attractive to a range of tenants including cosmetics, fashion, pharmacies, liquor, fast food and medium format supermarkets.

“South Yarra station is already the eighth busiest in the metropolitan network with an estimated 4.59 million passengers boarding in 2017/2018.

“And South Yarra continues to grow at a frenetic pace with a range of development activity spanning high density residential, offices and hotels.

“A large majority of the people occupying these buildings will take the train so the commuter traffic around this corner will continue to grow at an incredible rate”.

Mr Emmett is marketing 169-175 Toorak Rd with Andrew Milligan, Geoff Emmett and Hung Pham.

New neighbours

The listing comes a month after Ovolo Hotels opened a 123-suite guesthouse at 234 Toorak Rd.

Nearby (222 Toorak Rd), Aesop has set up shop; it relocated from a store west of South Yarra train station.

Dior and HSBC have also recently taken up space within the retail component of Capitol Grand.

Other major retailers in the strip, Mr Emmett added, include Country Road, Mecca Cosmetics, Gum Tree Good Food, Chemist Warehouse, multiple IGA supermarkets, BWS, Vintage Cellars and restaurants France Soir and Cosi.

“South Yarra is a really dynamic spot, with people wanting to live, work and shop there,” the agent said.

“Tourists want to visit, too, disposable incomes are relatively high and town planning policies are facilitating strong population growth.

“For these reasons South Yarra has economic characteristics that are similar to the CBD, and Toorak Rd is the centre of this”. 

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Marc Pallisco

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