Ending a 59-year era as a school campus, the University of Melbourne has sold Mount Eliza’s Moondah Estate to retirement living provider Ryman Healthcare for close to $40 million.
The 8.9-hectare waterfront property, marketed with a covenant restricting use to aged care, education, religious or primary production, includes a grand 42-room mansion and numerous outbuildings.
The university obtained control of Moondah after merging with the Mount Eliza Business School (MEBS) in 2004. MEBS, formerly known as the Australian Administrative College, acquired the waterfront estate in 1957.
Developed in the late 1880s and reportedly, for several decades later, frequented by the country’s elite, the property includes a historic gatehouse, servants’ quarters, conference, training, meeting and office spaces and four dining areas.
The property also includes a vineyard and 95-bed student accommodation facility – investments Ryman may consider subdividing and selling separately in the longer term.
CBRE’s Bianca Butterworth, Lewis Tong and Mark Wizel marketed Moondah Estate, about 60 kilometres south of Melbourne. Almost 200 metres of the property abut the beach.
Moondah is next door to 11.7-hectare Gunyong Valley estate, the long-time residence of the late Sir Reginald Ansett – who is said to have regularly visited. Retirement village operator Charles “Chas” Jacobsen paid $14.5 million for the Ansett property in 2006, subsequently redeveloping it as a holiday home compound for his family.
The University will use some $10 million in proceeds from the Mount Eliza sale to expand its Carlton business campus.
Ryman Healthcare, established in Christchurch 32 years ago and with a portfolio across Australia and New Zealand of some 30 retirement villages, accommodating more than 10,000 residents. Its villages include a mix of townhouses, flats and serviced apartments often surrounded by resort-style facilities including bars, indoor pools, spas, gymnasiums, beauty salons, bowling greens, libraries and movie theatres.
Another restaurateur sells trendy space
Albert Seoud is the latest restaurateur to offer a prominent retail asset for sale.
The businessman is part of a consortium expected to pocket between $11 million and $12 million from the sale of a historic building at a busy Chapel Street junction, at the southern-most Windsor end.
Known as Conway’s Corner or Conway Buildings, the outgoing asset is leased to a variety of commercial and retail tenants including restaurants Mad Mex and Basilico, and Yoga Australia. The investment currently returns annual rent of just over $556,000.
Seoud operates the 24-hour Chapelli’s restaurant in the more valuable part of Chapel Street-zoned South Yarra, closer to the CBD.
The listing comes a week after chef and author Shannon Bennett offered the 401 St Kilda Road space, until recently occupied by his Cafe Vue restaurant, in what is expected will be a $2.5 million deal.
Last month, St Ali owner Salvatore Malatesta sold a double storey retail investment at 6 Melbourne Place for $2.8 million.
Colliers International, Hockingstuart and ASM Commercial are marketing Conway’s Corner.
Major office warehouse complex for Yarraville
A major Yarraville commercial development with 50 office-warehouse suites has been met with investor demand reminiscent to what one would expect for an apartment or townhouse project in the trendy inner western suburb.
After six weeks on the market, a mix of owner-occupiers and investors have purchased enough suites, off the plan, to kick off the $20 million construction known as The Base.
Sector Property Group is proposing the complex for a vacant industrial tract at 10 Cawley Road. Almost opposite, the 24.3 hectare, former Bradmill factory, which reportedly sold to developer Tommy Jiang last year for some $160 million, is earmarked for a $2 billion-plus residential based “mini city”.
Both sites are at the western-most edge of Yarraville at the suburb border with Brooklyn and Tottenham. JLL’s Cameron Hunter and Josh Freezer are representing Sector with Bosisto Commercial’s Glyn Bosisto and Mark Charlton.
Evergreen lists lakeside property
Perth-based Evergreen Nominees is taking advantage of demand for inner-city investments and development opportunities, listing an office at the top of Albert Park Lake, near the proposed Metro Rail Link Domain station.
Evergreen is expected to bank more than $20 million from the sale of 102 Albert Road, which it bought in 1995 for $5.9 million.
The property includes a six-level, 4767-square-metre building, offering lakeside and CBD views, and 104 car spaces. It sits on an 1850-square-metre site dwarfed by taller buildings including the 16-level Australian Unity headquarters next door.
Knight Frank’s Tim Grant, Danny Clark and Paul Henley say on a fully leased basis, 102 Albert Road would return annual rent of $1.833 million. The agents say that over the next three years, almost 68,000 square metres of office space will be withdrawn from the St Kilda Road precinct to make way for at least 1400 flats.
Not far away, near new apartment towers at 36 and 42-50 Albert Road rise 29 levels.
The listing of 102 Albert Road comes more than two years after Evergreen sold another low rise, passive investment with development potential – in Southbank. The purchaser, Central Equity, paid a reported $27 million for 54-68 Kavanagh Street, which Evergreen acquired for $11.2 million in 2005.
Quarry boss mines out a buyer
Lofts Quarries boss Paul Lofitis is continuing to reweight his property portfolio – selling a CBD development opportunity for some three times the price he paid creating it over the past three years.
The 1293-square-metre parcel marketed as 299 King Street and with price expectations of about $40 million, includes a controversial permit for a landmark 66-level, 431-unit apartment tower, issued to the entrepreneur in March.
The permit would have struggled to garner approval under planning guidelines introduced by the new state planning minister in April.
Mr Lofitis, who invests in and develops real estate, initially hoped to build an 80-level, 603-unit structure on the site, on the south-west corner of Little Lonsdale Street.
The property includes a 96-year-old, triple-storey building at 295-299 King street, until recently owned by the Koorie Heritage Trust and occupied by the Koorie Cultural Centre. It also includes the neighbouring historic building at 307-309 King Street, which Lofitis bought a few months later.
CBRE agents Josh Rutman, Lewis Tong and Mark Wizel marketed the development opportunity as Kings Tower. Former MP Clem Newton Brown also represented the vendor.
The sale comes just over a year since Mr Lofitis formed part of a portfolio of neighbours to sell a 2100 square Southbank site to Central Equity, in an off-market deal speculated to be worth $40 million. Central Equity subsequently proposed a 67-level, 782-unit tower for the parcel at 71-87 City Road, opposite Eureka tower (which includes 556 flats and rises 92 levels).
The story End of an era as Ryman buys landmark Moondah Estate from University of Melbourne first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.