Besen Family Pays $67 Million For 1 Spring Street Half Share

MELBOURNE’s Besen family has spent $67 million buying a half share interest in one of the CBD’s most distinctive “gateway” buildings, 1 Spring Street.

Daniel Besen, the son of shopping centre magnate Marc, purchased a 50 per cent stake in the 28-level 1 Spring Street office on the corner of Flinders Street, on a yield of 7.5 per cent.

Record Realty was the vendor.

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US-based Pramerica Buys 575 Bourke Street, Melbourne, For Speculated $75 Million

PRAMERICA, US-based global real estate investor, is reported to be paying about $75 million for a 16-level office building in Melbourne’s CBD.

The 16,200 square metre office at 575 Bourke Street was offloaded by the Valad Property Group’s V Fund. The fund manager acquired the asset for $50.87 million in 2005.

Pramerica’s acquisition, reported in The Australian’s Primespace section, is the latest in a string of national commercial assets.

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Auction Ending For Ansett Office Dispute

THE falling-out of two of Melbourne’s biggest private developers will be played out publicly at the end of the month when agents auction a landmark city office building – on court orders.

The imminent sale of the former Ansett headquarters at 501 Swanston Street (pictured, right), for a price expected to surpass $50 million, is also fascinating those within the real estate industry for being likely to smash the record price paid for a CBD office at auction.

Interestingly, each of the co-owning vendors of the building, Vince Giuliano, head of PDG Corporation, and Mario Salvo, director of Salvo Property Group, is expected to bid for full control of the asset.

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Historic Seabrook Chambers Building, CBD, to Fetch $5 Million

A HISTORIC CBD property, purchased by barristers almost 30 years ago, and occupied as legal industry offices since, is expected to fetch about $5 million at auction next month.

Seabrook Chambers, at 573– 577 Lonsdale Street (pictured, right), was for years a warehouse facility, and later, between 1968 and 1979, home to Seabrook Wines.

Built in 1854, the double-storey bluestone building includes about 979 square metres of lettable office space and sits on an approximate 411 square metre block. It is being sold with vacant possession.

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Charter Hall to Sell 150 Queen Street Office, Melbourne, at a Loss

SYDNEY-based fund manager Charter Hall can expect some $25 million from the sale of a Melbourne CBD office it bought for $32 million in September 2007 – just weeks before the last commercial property market peak.

A spokeswoman said the Charter Hall Core Office Fund will use moneys from the sale to invest in larger, prime opportunities.

The asset on offer at 150 Queen Street (pictured, right), on the corner of Bourke Street, was developed in the 1960s and known for years as the Prudential Building.

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Isaac Brott Sells Stawell Chambers For About $4 Million

STAWELL Chambers, the free-standing, historic office that was for years occupied by solicitor Isaac Brott, has sold.

The building at 493 – 495 Little Bourke Street, opposite the southern boundary of the Supreme Court in Melbourne’s legal precinct is speculated to have traded for about $4 million.

Days after an auction last Friday, a “sold” sticker appeared on a board outside the 121-year old, four-level 650 square metre office (pictured, right). But Savills directors Nick Peden and Clinton Baxter declined to comment on any part of a deal when contacted by The Age.

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FKP to Sell 399 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

QUEENSLAND-born developer and fund manager FKP has quietly listed another major CBD asset for sale.

FKP, which recently relocated its headquarters to Sydney, can expect some $35 million, sources say, for the fully-leased office at 399 Lonsdale Street.

The 10-storey building, on the south-west corner of Hardware Lane, was developed in 1986 and fully refurbished in 1993 and 1997. It includes 10,176 square metres of office space, and is fully leased to education service provider Taylors College.

In recent years, the top of the city has become a private education service hub. Last March, education entrepreneur Shesh Gale, owner of the Melbourne Institute of Technology, paid $15 million for the historic Argus building at the north-west corner of La Trobe and Elizabeth streets, which will reopen as a school after a refurbishment.

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Sunsuper Pays $108 Million For 330 Collins Street, Melbourne

SUPERANNUATION giant Sunsuper has paid a reported $108 million for Melbourne’s 330 Collins Street office building (right).

The 17-level renovated building, which made headlines when a previous owner found asbestos while undertaking a renovation, includes 18,337 square metres of net lettable area.

A lot of the sites value is in its ground floor tenancies – on the corner of Collins and Elizabeth streets – both expensive retail thoroughfares in the Melbourne CBD.


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Melbourne Ghost Office Sells to Chinese Investor For $45 Million

ONE of the Melbourne CBD’s few remaining ghost towers has sold to a Chinese developer for $45 million.

The 21-level Communications House at 199 William Street (right) includes a 19,500 square metre office that has been vacant for more than ten years. The asset was offloaded by another Asia based investor with the registered company name Memo Corporation.

The building’s site area is 3318 square metres and the building is in the heart of what is known as the Melbourne CBD legal precinct. It’s residential redevelopment potential was touted throughout marketing.

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Lombard Building Sells For $9 Million

QUEEN Street’s historic Lombard Building, in Melbourne,  sold to a private investor at auction earlier this month for $9 million.

Recognised by Heritage Victoria as one of the city’s first office blocks developed with passenger lifts, the extravagantly designed eight-level, 2370 square metre building sold on a yield of 6.5 per cent, based on the asset’s annual income of $588,000.

Savills directors Clinton Baxter and Nick Peden received 67 bids from five separate bidders, before 15 – 17 Queen Street, which was built in 1888, sold to a Melbourne-based investor.

In July, another historic CBD building at 167 – 173 Flinders Lane sold for $13.31 million, to businesswoman Carol Schwartz.

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Historic Melbourne CBD Building Expected to Sell For $8 Million

ONE of the first Melbourne CBD office blocks to be developed with passenger lifts – the Lombard Building at 15 – 17 Queen Street, has hit the market for sale and is expected to sell for about $8 million.

The eight-level building, developed in 1888 has an office area of 2370 square metres and is fully leased.

Heritage Victoria describes the building as a boom style Victorian office, developed just before the 1890s economic depression, which reflected an unashamed expression of the aspirations and success of its owners.

It added the skyscraper’s height demonstrated the “liberating effect” of the lift.

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REST Close to Buying 717 Bourke Street Office For $240 Million

A CONSORTIUM including Babcock & Brown, education facility Global Campus Management and design firm Metier3 are believed to be close to offloading a Melbourne office for about $240 million.

The distinctive 37,000 square metre office at 717 Bourke Street will soon be recognised as the new home of Network Nine, which leased space at the Docklands building after selling its long time home at Bendigo Street Richmond to Lend Lease.

BP Australia, AIG, Marsh Australia, Telstra and the Financial Ombudsman Service are other tenants at 717 Bourke Street.

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Deka Immobilien Investment to Pay $118 Million For South Wharf Office, Melbourne

GERMAN pension fund Deka Immobilien Investment is reportedly paying $118 million for the South Wharf Commercial tower in Docklands.

The sale, reflecting a yield of about 7.75 per cent, ends a saga to sell the office that has lingered since just before the economic downturn, in late 2007.

The office is part of the $750 million South Wharf precinct which also includes retail, residential and a hotel component. The office was sold by private developer Austexx, which owns the DFO chain, which is also for sale.

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Mario Salvo to Sell 128 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, After a Year

HIGH rise apartment developer Mario Salvo has decided to sell a CBD office investment he purchased at a low point in the commercial property market last year.

Mr Salvo can expect around $17.5 million, sources say, for the 38-year old, 11-level, 4781 square metre office at 128 Exhibition Street. He paid AMP Henderson Global Investors $15 million for the asset last October.

The building is opposite what was the Southern Cross Hotel, which has been recently been redeveloped into a high rise compound with a new retail laneway and offices off both Exhibition and Bourke streets.

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Becton Understood to Have Sold Melbourne CBD Office

EAST Melbourne based developer and fund manager Becton is understood to have sold another office asset, this time in the CBD.

Becton is speculated to have reaped about $18 million from the sale of 422 Little Collins Street. On that assumed figure, the group made a loss on the $22.2 million it paid Vicland for the asset four years ago.

The eight-level, 5246 square metre building is 98 per cent leased, with education service provider Cambridge International College the largest tenant. The asset returned almost $1.7 million per annum in rent, and is understood to have sold to a private investor.

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Becton to Sell 422 Little Collins Street

422 Little Collins StreetDEVELOPER and fund manager Becton is still in a selling mood.

This time, the East Melbourne-based group is offloading a Little Collins Street office building it bought from Vicland for $22.2 million in September 2006.

The 422 Little Collins Street office is expected to fetch about $17.5 million this time around, reflecting a yield of about 10 per cent based on the assets approximate annual income of $1.75 million.

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167 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Sells For $13.1 Million

RECEIVERS for the Letten Group have recovered $13.31 million from the sale of a historic Flinders Lane office and retail building.

Savills agents Clinton Baxter and Nick Peden sold 167 – 173 Flinders Lane at auction yesterday, in front of a crowd of some 250 people.

The property, on the south-west corner of Hosier Lane, was previously controlled by Mark Letten and celebrity health expert Dr John Tickel, who paid $3.67 million for the asset in September 2001.

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Church of Scientology Sells City Headquarters of 30 Years

Nick XenophonTHE Church of Scientology has finally offloaded the CBD headquarters it has owner occupied for 30 years.

The religious group, whose tax free status has been the subject of two recent Senate inquiries led by independent senator Nick Xenophon, is believed to have made about $8.5 million from the sale of the 1377 square metre building, at the north-east corner of Flinders Lane and Russell Street.

Property developer David Marriner, responsible for the redevelopment of Collins Street’s Regent Theatre, has purchased the building which has some redevelopment potential despite being on a small site of about 346 square metres.

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Michael Coppel to Sell Office at Prominent Melbourne CBD Corner

U2MUSIC promoter Michael Coppel is offloading a low-rise office building with redevelopment potential at one of the CBD’s busiest intersections.

Mr Coppel can expect to make about $12.5 million, sources say, from the sale of 389 – 391 Swanston Street, at the north-west corner of La Trobe Street.

The site is almost encapsulated by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology – a possible buyer – and opposite Melbourne Central and the State Library of Victoria.

Hungry Jacks leases the ground floor of the three-level, 1355 square metre building, which returns a total annual rent of $610,987.

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