Melbourne, 24 November 2015- For the first time in almost 45 years, a classically designed Victorian-era freehold building is being offered for sale in one of the most prominent lanes in the Melbourne CBD.
The five-level freestanding building is located at 8 Drewery Place and sits on a prominent corner with three street frontages. It formerly housed Sniders and Abrahams cigar manufacturing factory dating back to 1890. This part of Melbourne saw a concentration of tobacco oriented firms that established large factories and warehouses in the late Victorian-era and Edwardian period.
CBRE Melbourne City Sales agents Josh Rutman, Mark Wizel, Paul Tzamalis and Tom Tuxworth have been appointed to auction the property, which will take place on Thursday 10th December 2015.
Mr Rutman said it is one of the only properties of its kind in the street, with most others having already been converted to residential apartments.
“Very rarely are we given the privilege of offering such historically prominent buildings to the marketplace as they are extremely tightly held. The building has been owned within the same family for a generation and provides a very exciting investment prospect as well as genuine potential to convert, subdivide or redevelop in the future,” Mr Rutman said.
“The location within the northern precinct of the CBD has seen a remarkable transformation since the completion of the Emporium shopping centre and the seven day foot traffic which is driven in large part by the expansion of RMIT, presents a terrific opportunity to transform and improve the building in years to come.”
Mr Wizel said; “Based on our experience with properties of this nature in the CBD, we anticipate strong interest from a range of local and offshore-based investors who have been waiting to secure only the most prominent of freehold assets.”
The property is located just behind Swanston Street and is wedged within what is fast becoming known as the “Golden Triangle” of city retail – between Melbourne Central, Emporium and the QV Complex. The name of the lane was changed in 1872 from Brewery to Drewery Lane. There are differing sources as to the origins of the name. According to the City of Melbourne Planning Scheme, it was named after the chemist Thomas Drewery, who was elected a City Councillor for Gipps Ward in 1851. According to historian Weston Bate, however, it was named after London's Drury Lane.
Today the ornate building houses a range of retail and office tenants and has seen a dramatic increase in pedestrian activity as the CBD has grown its permanent residential, student and tourist populations. It sits directly adjacent to an entry point into Melbourne Central Shopping Centre which also drives pedestrian flow and retail activity in the laneway, and as a result some smaller café and hospitality offerings.
The offering of 8 Drewery Place follows the sale at auction of another freestanding building in the CBD. 490 Flinders Street was sold under the hammer on Thursday afternoon for a price well in excess of market expectations. In front of a crowd of more than 110 people, 6 bidders competed for the two-level freehold opposite the Melbourne Aquarium, which eventually sold for a 2.33% yield to a locally based Chinese investor who managed to outbid a multiple CBD property owner.
Mr Tzamalis, who auctioned the property together with Josh Rutman and Tom Tuxworth, said; “The sale price of $4.1 million was more than one million dollars above the reserve price. The family had owned the property for generations and was absolutely thrilled with their decision to market the property in the current climate, which is seeing record low interest rates and a low Australian dollar drive commercial property prices to all-time highs.”
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