Uniting Church sells 130 Little Collins Street after 52 years

Artist’s impression of the Elenberg Fraser designed 26-storey hotel permitted to replace 130 Little Collins Street. It is unknown if the new owner, Jeff Xu’s Golden Age Group, will proceed with the hotel or propose a residential project, or something else.

EXCLUSIVE

The Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania has sold a Melbourne CBD commercial building it has occupied since construction 52 years ago.

At 130 Little Collins Street, the brown brick building (pictured, top) carried price hopes of more than $35 million when it hit the market in April.

It is understood to be selling to Jeff Xu’s Golden Age Group for about $43 million. Mr Xu only three months ago sold an interest in a nearby residential development site at 85 Spring Street, Melbourne. Last week, we reported that Golden Age Group was seeking to offload its half-interest in an unbuilt East Melbourne office.

The church added value to 130 Little Collins Street, teaming with Jonathan Hallinan’s BPM in 2015 to obtain a permit which would see the 651 square metre plot replaced with a 26-storey, 184-suite hotel penned by Elenberg Fraser (pictured, right).

At present, the eight-level building contains 3797 square metres of area, configured as offices, an auditorium, meeting rooms and a chapel.

On the corner of Coromandel Place, the property neighbours Citadines Melbourne on Bourke, a hotel which rises 25 storeys and contains 398 guest rooms atop ground floor retail.

The Uniting Church plans to vacate 130 Little Collins Street in about 18 months and relocate to the $1.2 billion Wesley Place complex, in Lonsdale Street.

Wesley Place, which will contain several office buildings around a refurbished bluestone cathedral, is being developed on a Uniting Church owned site leased to Charter Hall in 2016 for 125 years.

In December, we reported that Charter Hall had secured a new federal government division, Australian Financial Complaints Authority, as an occupant within one of the Wesley Place offices.

CBus Super, Vanguard and Telstra are other occupiers to recently lease at Wesley Place.

Last August, we reported that BPM banked $91.3 million selling an as-yet-unbuilt 30-storey, 241-suite hotel at 33 King Street, in the city, to Indian father and son Kapil and Rahul Bhatia.

CBRE’s Julian White, Mark Wizel and Nathan Mufale with Colliers International’s Daniel Wolman, Oliver Hay and Guy Wells, marketed 130 Little Collins Street for the Uniting Church.

It is the latest era-ending deal in Melbourne.

Two months ago, we reported, exclusively, that Toorak investors sold an office at 45 Exhibition Street, in the CBD, for more than $20 million after 51 years of ownership.

Last week we reported that the Southern Indoor Bowls Club sold the former Camden Theatre, in Caulfield South, to a residential developer, for $10.26 million – more than $1 million over the reserve.

Southern Indoor Bowls Club also acquired this site in 1968.

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Marc Pallisco

Marc Pallisco

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

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