Swisse Wellness investor Michael Saba is trying again to sell a large retail asset with development upside in Clifton Hill’s Queens Parade.
It was speculated when Mr Saba bought this investment for nearly $7 million in March, 2017, that he planned to operate a chocolate making business there.
The 1540 square metre site, within a popular shopping strip, was for years occupied by hardware store Thrifty Link.
Zoned Commercial 2, it would be appropriate for a multi-storey office development or hotel.
However, a proposed planning amendment (C421) could see it rezoned Commercial 1.
A Commercial 1 zoning would allow for the construction of a more profitable residential-based mixed-use complex.
A panel hearing regarding this rezoning is set to be heard from August 12.
Mr Saba tried to sell 15-33 Queens Parade last October – a more depressed time in Melbourne’s commercial property game.
Mr Saba was one of the executives to share in the $1.67 billion sale proceeds of Swisse Wellness to China’s Biostime International four years ago.
Swisse Wellness’ former chief executive, Radek Sali, was another benefactor. Mr Sali subsequently spent $12.5 million on a South Yarra home, for sale by hospitality entrepreneurs Frank and Sharon Van Haandel.
Stephen Ring, whose father Kevin founded the Swisse business in 1969 – is speculated to have banked about $1 billion from the Biostime International deal.
In 2017, Mr Ring paid $8.1 million for the historic premises formerly occupied by the Society restaurant at 23-29 Bourke Street in the Melbourne CBD.
Last year we reported that Mr Ring paid a speculated $10 million for a Byron Bay home offloaded by former Skilled Group boss, Greg Hargreave.