Shared from the 7/10/2021 The Age Digital Edition eEdition

Penthouse at Flinders Lane sells for $4.3m



Architect John Denton and artist Susan Cohn have sold their longheld Flinders Lane penthouse for $4.3 million.

A local architectural practice, which has been on the rag trade strip for 20 years, snapped up the 346 sq m loft-style apartment to use as an office.

The couple have lived at the level 5 penthouse at 183 Flinders Lane since the 1990s but are moving elsewhere in the CBD.

Colliers agent Anthony Kirwan, who handled the sale with Chris Ling and George Davies, said the campaign attracted six offers from 183 inquiries.

‘‘The underbidder was from Saudi Arabia. This was one of the busiest strata campaigns I’ve ever been involved in,’’ Mr Kirwan said.

Toronto House cost only $1.57 million in 1991 when a syndicate including Mr Denton and developer Morry Schwartz bought the building.

They were busy developing the Adelphi Hotel next door at the time when Toronto House’s original owner went bust, quickly followed by the mortgagee-in-possession, the notorious Pyramid Building Society, which spectacularly collapsed.

The ground and first floors became the Anna Schwartz Gallery while Ms Cohn, a jeweller, used the basement as her studio.


Eastern suburbs luxury residential developer Peter Gibson is selling the downstairs retail at his Hawksburn digs.

It’s no ordinary retail at 441-469 Malvern Road, South Yarra where Gibson Developments completed a three-level apartment project in 2016.

The two-level Bib Stillwell Volvo showroom and underground service centre covers 4137 sq m and has nine years remaining on a 15-year lease.

The Stillwell Group pays $1.136 million a year in rent and has four more five-year options remaining on the lease that expires in 2030. It’s expected to fetch more than $23 million.

Car yards and showrooms are fast disappearing off the high streets as the major auto marques reduce their bricks and mortar footprint.

Those large landholdings are increasingly more valuable as residential sites as this property reveals.

Gorman Commercial agents Jonathon McCormack and Stephen Gorman are handling the expressions of interest campaign which closes on August 11.


The owners of Siricco House of Leather are selling their shop on Bourke Street hill.

The two-level shop is offered with vacant possession though it’s currently stocked with the usual jackets, belts and bags.

The 549 sq m shop is at the foot of former department store buildings at 151-163 Bourke that were converted into a Quest hotel in 1999.

But just as Melbourne emerged from lockdown last year, Quest walked away from the hotel, leaving the owners of the 66 rooms upstairs completely in the lurch.

Owners have been quietly leasing and selling the one and twobedders since Quest closed in October.

Colliers agents Daniel Wolman, Anthony Kirwan, George Davies and Leon Ma are handling expressions of interest closing on August 4. It’s expected to fetch $5 million.

Also on the Bourke Street hill, up the road facing state parliament, is a home office at No.33 for lease through Martin O’Halloran Property.

Records show lawyer Peter Vodicka will be the landlord of the palatial stand-alone office and penthouse apartment.


A local private investor has bought into Box Hill’s dizzying high-rise CBD, paying $17.15 million for 26-28 Prospect Street.

But the Box Hill local apparently has no plans for immediate development, unlike many of the other owners in the strip along the railway line.

Colliers agents Peter Bremner, Leon Ma, Rachael Clohesy and Joe Kairouz handled the deal for Vantage Property Investments, who bought the property in 2002 for $5.9 million.


Clockwise from main: Level 5 penthouse at 183 Flinders Lane has sold for $4.3 million; 441-469 Malvern Road, South Yarra is expected to fetch more than $23 million; Siricco House of Leather in Bourke Street.

The four-storey 3028 sq m building is 91 per cent leased with a lease term average of only 1.5 years.

‘‘The property was offered with an approved planning permit for a 30-level mixed-use development. However it was ultimately purchased by a private investor,’’ Mr Ma said.

Meanwhile, charity Anglicare has moved into leased space on Prospect Street and is selling a nearby office at 7-11 Shipley Street, which it has owned since 1997. Savills agents Clinton Baxter, Benson Zhou and Julian Heatherich are handling enquiries for the two-storey property, which is on 800 sq m in a 12-level height zone. They’re anticipating $6.5 million to $7 million for the property. The Prospect Street buyer was not the only investor moving on strategic parcels of land with no immediate plans for development. A local Glen Waverley buyer picked up 2-4 Kingsway opposite The Glen shopping centre, paying $10.45 million – a yield of 2.39 per cent.

The unnamed investor beat 12 others to the cream brick office that was occupied for years by the ANZ bank. It has a permit for a sixstorey mixed use project.

The property was sold by JLL agents Josh Rutman, Tim Carr and Mingxuan Li in conjunction with Ray White Commercial agents Ryan Trickey, Ben Ainsworth, Glenn Ye.


Making its first foray into Melbourne is Sydney-based Krost Business Office Furniture, a company showing strong confidence in the future of the office.

The company has paid $9.25 million for a 2371 sq m West Melbourne showroom-warehouse where they will set up their Melbourne flagship store.

Vinci Carbone agents Joseph Carbone and Frank Vinci brokered the deal for lot 3/617-643 Spencer Street.

The two-storey building, situated between Hawke and Abbotsford Street, is close to the long-standing Radio Rentals showroom and a short walk to the Errol Street shopping strip.

‘‘There’s a 60 metre frontage to Spencer Street and the fact they could brand the building that close to the city helped sell it. Finding that in Sydney is impossible,’’ Mr Carbone said.

The CBD fringe suburb has long been an office furniture precinct but some of the other long term players have moved on.

Rose Office Furniture moved to Port Melbourne after its site at 520-540 Spencer Street was sold to Crema in in 2019 for $10.95 million. Construction of a new apartment project is already under way.


The Port Melbourne base of Frank Walker’s National Tiles is on the market and it’s not cheap.

The 1.4 hectare site in the Fisherman’s Bend precinct is expected to fetch more than $30 million.

Savills agents Julian Heatherich, Benson Zhou and Clinton Baxter are handling the sale on behalf of a deceased estate. The family had owned the property for 34 years.

Next door to the Goodman Group’s new Woolies supermarket and Dan Murphys bottle shop, the 525 Graham Street property returns $410,000 a year.


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