The University of Queensland pays $19 million for vacant suburban Brisbane office

The Toowong office was until January occupied by Allianz Global Assistance.

The University of Queensland is paying a speculated $19.3 million for a recently vacated office near its 114-hectare St Lucia campus.

UQ plans to occupy the five-level building at 74 High Street, Toowong (pictured top and right), about five kilometres west of the Brisbane CBD.

The college has anticipated it will need the additional space to accommodate staff during a five-year capital works program of its St Lucia site.

With approximately 4431 square metres of lettable area, and 43 basement car parks, the office sits on an 1827 sqm site within Toowong’s commercial centre.

Allianz Global Assistance occupied 74 High Street for 15 years, until January.

An expressions of interest campaign, managed by Knight Frank, promoted the high profile of the building – 30,000 cars pass the office daily – and the potential for signage exposure.

“The campaign targeted local and interstate value-add investors, as well as owner-occupiers,” broker Christian Sandstrom said.

“Numerous offers were received at the close of the campaign with particular strong interest from a number of local companies wishing to acquire the property for their own occupation given the cost advantage compared to leasing their premises”.

The purchase price valued every square metre of lettable area at $4,356, Mr Sandstrom said. Colleagues Matthew Barker and Ben McGrath also worked on the campaign.

“The suburb enjoys the benefits of easy access to the Brisbane CBD, abundant retail amenity and access to numerous forms of public transport, and has remained an extremely popular near-city destination for commercial office tenants,” Mr Barker said.

“The area surrounding 74 High Street is continuing to experience valuable development and investment, and has the potential for redevelopment”.

Office vacancy rates in Toowong are around 11 per cent. The top three growth sectors in the region, the brokers said, include Health & Community, Business Services and Retail.

In November we reported that Victoria University sold three buildings in the Melbourne CBD to Industry Superannuation Property Trust. VU will sub-let an as-yet unbuilt 32-storey vertical campus, to be built on one of the sites, 364-378 Little Lonsdale Street.

Marc Pallisco

A freelance property writer and analyst, Marc is a co-founder of realestatesource.com.au.

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