The Hour Glass snaps up more of prime Collins Street

The Balenciaga property contains 536 square metres over two floors.

The Hour Glass has acquired its second prime Collins Street investment in six months.

The Singapore listed retailer and landlord is paying a speculated price of more than $35 million for #181 – home to Balenciaga.

It follows the $68m purchase of #139 – leased to Louis Vuitton – last December.

The Hour Glass, led by husband-and-wife Henry and Jannie Tay, also recently completed a high-end fit-out of the ex-Kodak House at #252, which it purchased in 2002 and part occupies.

Paris-end store handpicked by fashion house

Vinci Carbone’s Frank Vinci and Joseph Carbone, who marketed 181 Collins St, declined to comment about the deal.

Balenciaga famously handpicked the property to establish its flagship Australian store in 2018, displacing Ralph Lauren which still had two years to run on a lease.

Over two levels, it contains 536 square metres, tenanted until 2029 with options.

The annual net rent is $1.447m (story continues below).

The street’s east end is considered Melbourne’s most exclusive retail precinct; Berluti, Bottega Veneta, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci and Versace share the block.

Ralph Lauren reportedly struggled to find a replacement before its lease expired (it is now based at Emporium Melbourne).

The Collins St asset neighbours the Regent Theatre and City Square, the latter which is making way for the Town Hall station, expected to be the busiest stop within the nine kilometre Metro Tunnel project.

A number of landmark office skyscrapers are also in the vicinity – at #101, 120 and most recently, #80.

The Hour Glass holds real estate in Brisbane, Sydney and offshore, some which it occupies.

Its brands include Cartier, Longines, Rolex and TAG Heuer.

Balenciaga is paying annual rent of $1.447 million.

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Marc Pallisco

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