A consortium which includes two of Melbourne's wealthiest establishment families has flipped a major Hawthorn East development site in a speculated $50 million deal.
Following an off-market campaign, Chinese developer Dahua Group has snapped up the 5197-square-metre supersite at 33-53 Camberwell Road from Trenerry Property Group director Robert DiCintio, the Victor Smorgon Group and the Kanat family, owners of Ted Baker Fashion and Flair Industries.
The vendors settled on buying the property only in May. It is speculated they spent approximately $35 million on a long settlement following a campaign in mid-2013.
The site is a collection of low-rise buildings and an open-air car park fronting Burwood Road. Until recently, one of the warehouses on the block was held by directors of the Adairs Retail Group.
In March, Mr DiCintio told The Age he was planning to build some 500 dwellings on the Hawthorn East block, which is about a kilometre north-west of the Camberwell Junction.
The same consortium had just paid Australia Post $40 million for a 9200-square-metre West Melbourne development site, considered one of the city's biggest, measured by area.
Melbourne Acquisitions' Steve Messina and Dominic Gibson are believed to have represented the Trenerry consortium with the Camberwell Road parcels but were unavailable. Dahua Group is expected to replace the blocks with mid-rise apartment towers and ground-floor shops.
Sydney developer FKP has been able to build East Hawthorn's tallest building, rising 14 levels.
YCH Sells Ex-Fitzroy Rooming House
Yarra Community Housing has offloaded a problem rooming house, which it was forced to close last year.
The service provider is understood to have reaped about $5 million for 34-36 Nicholson Street, Fitzroy, opposite the Carlton Gardens. The property hit the market last month carrying price expectations of about $3.5 million.
YCH closed the hostel, displacing 120 homeless tenants, when weapons and a suspected night-time ice trade were uncovered. In 2011, a 32-year old man was stabbed to death at the facility, which is only the second in 16 years that the organisation has shut down for security reasons.
The rooming house was built into the walls of Salisbury Place, a grand mansion developed in the mid 1850s for businessman William Smith and later owned by dentist Edwin Oldfield, who advertised his practice from the address. It occupies a 658-square-metre site but offers little to no airspace redevelopment potential.
CBRE's Jamus Campbell and Scott Orchard represented YCH, which will use sale proceeds to build 25 self-contained units elsewhere.
Lutherans List in Dandenong
The Lutheran Church of Australia Victorian District is offloading a major site within walking distance of central Dandenong.
The 2026-square-metre block at 28 Pickett Street, near the train station and Lonsdale Street shops, is expected to sell for about $1.6 million to an apartment or townhouse developer.
Acquired by the Lutherans in 1972, and used as an assembly hall, the parcel is being marketed by Colliers International's Ted Dwyer, Trent Hobart and Hamish Burgess.
DeFazio Pays $8.3 Million For Central Brunswick Site
Melbourne's wealthy DeFazio family has beaten full-time developers for a massive 3136-square-metre development site behind the Sydney Road shops in Brunswick.
The owners of DeFazio Tiles are paying a speculated $8.3 million for properties known as 14-18 Ovens Street and 2-6 Ballarat Street, behind the Brunswick Baptist Church.
It is the second major acquisition in as many years for the family, headed by patriarch Frank DeFazio, whose varied business interests include adhesives and a share in Wattyl paint.
The group, which both occupies and develops, recently outlaid about $15 million for the City Lexus site in Elizabeth Street – within a low-rise precinct of the city slowly being rezoned to allow for major skyscrapers.
CBRE's Ed Wright, Jamus Campbell and Mark Wizel marketed the Brunswick block, about five kilometres north of town.
In June, a developer paid about $4 million for a 1700-square-metre block in Brunswick East, not far from the former Tip Top bread factory, which local builder Little Property Group recently replaced with an apartment and townhouse village.
Singapore Developer Buys Prime CBD Corner From Zagame
A Singapore developer is paying members of the Zagame family more than $20 million for a prime CBD corner.
The historic building at 121 King Street, on the north-west corner of Little Collins Street, is expected to form the lower levels of a major skyscraper in the medium term.
The block covers 1517 square metres and – given city planning precedents at present – could make way for more than one skyscraper.
Zagame's hospitality arm paid $3.25 million for the property 15 years ago. In the CBD, the group's portfolio includes the Rosati's restaurant in Flinders Lane, near the Grant Hyatt hotel.
Last month, it was reported that Bobby Zagame – who runs prestige automotive dealerships – is buying the former Fairfax Media print factory abutting the Tullamarine Freeway, in Westmeadows, near the Melbourne Airport.
180 St Kilda Road Sells
A local investor is paying $9.4 million for the former Austereo office at 180 St Kilda Road in St Kilda. The 1258-square-metre block, with a 2951-square-metre building once occupied by radio stations Triple M and Fox FM, is zoned Commercial 1. It exchanged hands at a land rate of $7453 per square metre.
Following Austereo, the office was occupied by Village Roadshow, but has been vacant for 14 months. The new owner plans to refurbish the building instead of replacing the airspace with something taller.
"The purchaser was attracted to the strong underlying land value and longer-term potential redevelopment of the site," said Knight Frank's Tim Grant and Tom Ryan.
Jam Factory close to sale for more than $150m
Challenger is rumoured to be in advanced negotiations to sell the Jam Factory mixed-use complex in Chapel Street, South Yarra, to an Asia-based investor.
It is understood the prospective buyer could pay more than $150 million for the development-sensitive site (the main building is heritage-listed and any airspace redevelopment would need to be well set back from the street).
Challenger unveiled but never proceeded with a proposed $700 million mixed-use village of the Jam Factory airspace in 2008. A year later, during a local commercial property downturn, the fund manager unsuccessfully tried to sell the 1.9-hectare block for just over $100 million.