Telco lists priciest suburban exchanges

The Vaucluse building exceeds height limits by four metres.

Telstra has listed two of the priciest exchanges in its suburban Sydney portfolio – combined, sources say, worth well over $16 million.

The Hunters Hill site (marked) spreads 1695 square metres.

The telco got tactical to maximise value offering the unique sites, at Vaucluse (pictured, top) and Hunters Hill, with plans for an apartment conversion.

Each property has a 1950s building exceeding current planning controls – in the case of Vaucluse, by four metres.

The listings come four years since Telstra sold Charter Hall a CBD exchange with a leaseback for $319.4m.

Telstra is offering the Hunters Hill building with a scheme for three units.

Millionaires only

Telstra is offering both exchanges with a short-term leaseback via Stonebridge’s Lincoln Blackledge and Spero Xenos, who declined to speculate values.

However according to sources, the priciest, 4 Olphert Avenue, Vaucluse, should fetch over $9.5m.

The R2 Low Density zoned site spreads 669 sqm, on a bend with two crossovers.

The improvement rises 13.5m at its highest – more than the 9.5m allowed for new-builds – with water views from all levels.

The Hunters Hill site meanwhile – 1C John Street – should collect over $6.5m according to sources.

Spreading 1695 sqm, Telstra’s scheme is for a conversion with three dwellings.

The existing building rises 10.5m – a metre over the allowable limit (story continues below).

Brisbane’s Edison exchange traded for $57 million in 2019.

Another Telstra exchange

Telstra has in recent years sold down several former or outgoing east coast exchanges. In 2019, it offloaded one in Brisbane’s CBD for $57m.

In suburban Melbourne, it divested properties at Box Hill, Rowville and Springvale, some for sub $1m prices. Another in Kew sold to private college Genazzano for $1.5m in 2013.

“This [Vaucluse and Hunters Hill] portfolio presents a rare opportunity to acquire prime positions within tightly held Sydney suburbs,” Mr Blackledge said.

“The unique built form sits above current height and FSR controls, providing flexibility to high end residential developers, owner occupiers or alternative groups such as childcare,” he added.

“While the elevated corner site in Vaucluse offers water views from both top and bottom levels, and potential CBD views, the Hunters Hill site enjoys a substantial…allotment and ultra convenience to St Joseph’s College,” according to the executive.

“The ability to acquire sites with significant built form below replacement costs, whilst enjoying short-term holding income, is an attractive proposition in the prevailing development climate – particularly in suburb where freehold development sites rarely come to market.

Mr Xenos said Telstra has “invested significant time and resources into producing valuable concept schemes for high-end, multi-unit dwellings” at both sites.

“We anticipate immense interest for the potential end products given the rare and unique nature of the offerings as well as positions close to some of Sydney’s finest schools,” he added.

Vaucluse’s median house price is $9.4m according to REA Group, while at Hunters Hill, it is $3.84m.

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Marc Pallisco

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