Shared from the 4/17/2021 The Age Digital Edition eEdition

Stars align for sale of Essendon motel



Three-star motel and Hollywood movie set, the Alexander Motor Inn and Function Centre is up for sale for the first time in more than 20 years.

The motel, which languished during the COVID-19 lockdown, is a popular location for locally made movies and last year hosted the filming of Liam Neeson and Guy Pearce’s new film, Blacklight.

The owners are calling cut on their time at the 976-990 Mount Alexander Road motel.

CBRE agents Scott Callow, David Minty, and JJ Heng are selling the 3000 sq m site, which is zoned for high-density development. It’s expected to fetch more than $10 million.

The 1960s era motel is a short walk from Essendon railway station but was built during a period of fast-growing car use so you could drive right up to your room.

Movie-making is not the only high-profile moment for the motel. British criminal Ronnie Biggs, who fled Britain after the infamous Great Train Robbery, stayed a night there in 1969 while on the run

– reportedly room 11.


David Yu’s Ausvest is divesting from a key Toorak asset he has held since the early 1990s. No, not the mansion at 29-31 St Georges Road which he quietly shopped at around $80 million early last year. Records show Ausvest still owns that 7246 sq m property.

The ANZ bank branch at 438-440 Toorak Road, on the corner of Carters Avenue, is for sale and expected to sell for more than $6.5 million.

While bank branches around the country are closing, this one, in the heart of Toorak Village, has a new three-year lease with two three-year options. ANZ pays $329,600 a year.

The 394 sq m building is on a 354 sq m site and opposite Vicland’s proposed $600 million Village Way redevelopment, which will include more than 10,000 sq m of office space over eight levels and a Coles supermarket.

Fitzroys agents Chris Kombi, Chris James and Shawn Luo are handling the expressions of interest campaign which ends on May 5.


Charter Hall has sold a big development site in South Clayton to industrial developer AuOro Group for $16.5 million.

The 2.8 hectare site at 548-588 Clayton Road has a 165-metre frontage to the busy road. Buildings covering 14,000 sq m are mostly used for cold storage.

The property is leased to Home Delivery Services, returning $650,000 a year.

AuOro Group was established last year by Corplex directors Dominic Cullia and Steve Camerlengo who have been active in the north and west.

Mr Cullia said they’re planning to build a new cold storage business park pitched at small to medium businesses.

Vinci Carbone agents Joseph Carbone and Frank Vinci handled the transaction for Charter Hall.

Corplex also sold a freestanding Carl’s Jr through Vinci Carbone for $6.41 million on a tight 4.6 per cent yield. There were eight bidders for the Thomastown fast food outlet.

In the north, commercial developer Genesis Property paid $9.1 million for a 1.63-hectare infill development site at 142-150 Cooper Street, Epping, opposite the Pacific Epping Shopping centre and the Northern Hospital.

There are two warehouses of 1800 sq m and 1400 sq m on the site but it is ripe for mixed-use redevelopment.

The deal was negotiated by CBRE agents Jake George, Daniel Eramo, Nathan Mufale and David Minty.



Clockwise from main: The Alexander Motor Inn & Function Centre in Essendon is for sale for the first time in over 20 years; The ANZ Bank branch at 438-440 Toorak Road, Toorak, Melbourne; Lorne’s Shell petrol station on Mountjoy Parade returns around $175,000 a year in rent.

The Lorne servo, once in danger of closing and leaving the coastal town fuel-less, has sold for $4.075 million on a 4.31 per cent yield. A local private investor, with long links to Lorne, purchased the property to hold as a long-term investor. It was bought by the vendor in the early 1990s for $500,000.

JLL agents Tom Noonan, Stuart Taylor and MingXuan Li handled more than 200 inquiries and nine offers for the 1160 sq m property on the corner of Mountjoy Parade and Grove Road.

The 12-year lease which runs out in 2025 comes with a six-year option. It returns $176,000 in rent every year.


A reception centre in Albion belonging to the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation sold at auction for $1.91 million – more than $1 million over its reserve.

Teska Carson agent George Takis said five bidders in a raucous crowd pushed the price of the centre to unexpected heights and it was sold to an owner-occupier with plans to ‘‘revitalise’’ it.

The 408 sq metre property is on a 2014 sq m site at 25 Carrington Drive in an area zoned Industrial 3 between Ballarat Road, the Ring Road and McIntyre Road.

It’s licensed for 160 people, and includes a first-floor office, commercial kitchen, bar and onsite car parking.

‘‘Albion may not ring a bell for property sales generally but savvy buyers and those looking to take advantage of very favourable borrowing conditions turned up in their droves and the Royal Children’s Hospital would no doubt be a very happy beneficiary,” Mr Takis said.

Records show the centre was transferred from the Yugoslav-Australian Cultural Youth Folk Ansambl Vojvodina to the hospital foundation in 2018 for $1.


Factor Bikes’ local owner and keen cyclist Kel MacCulloch has sold the Gardenvale headquarters he bought 18 months ago.

An owner-occupier in the competitive pharmacy sector paid $4.75 million for the 1115 sq m site at 203-207 Nepean Highway.

Records show Mr MacCulloch’s KZ 2 bought it in June last year for $3.6 million. It had been owned by Coles Group’s development arm for many years and used as a car yard.

Stonebridge Property Group’s Julian White, Rorey James and Chao Zhang handled the transaction, which attracted eight bidders, half of them developers.

The price reflected a land rate of $4300 a sq m and a low yield of 2.3 per cent on the passing income. Factor Bikes will vacate mid-year.


In last week’s column (April 10), we incorrectly stated that Trans World Travel had closed during COVID-19. The 40-year-old business was sold to Y Travel’s Yvonne and Allan Verstandig in December and the combined businesses continue to operate as Y Travel x Trans World Travel.’


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