NEWS PROPERTY

Not-for-profit landlord, the Jacka Foundation, is selling the historic Fitzroy factory where the Southern School of Natural Therapies has operated for nearly 30 years. Alf and Judy Jacka established their training college in 1961, renaming it the Southern School of Natural Therapies in 1981. They bought the building for $1.53 million in 1996 and put its ownership into the trust after selling the school in 2010. Nearly 30 years later it’s expected to fetch around $20 million.An investor has splashed $11.6 million on a three-storey serviced apartment complex in East Melbourne. The sale of 160-174 Simpson Street was completed a week after the campaign closed, on a 60-day settlement, and without due diligence. The buyer is reportedly planning to continue running the 24-studio hotel as it stands. It’s on a 1300 sq m parcel of land opposite Powlett Reserve and had been touted as a development site. Cushman & Wakefield’s Daniel Wolman, who negotiated the speedy transaction with Oliver Hay and Leon Ma, said: “We had eight offers of which six were good enough to shortlist”. Once the winning bidders declared they did not require due diligence, the deal was done. The final price came in less than the $12-15 million quoted in February when the campaign was launched, but the speedy process accounts for some of that. It may also be a sign that vendors are now meeting the market to get a transaction over the line. Operating as Birches Serviced Apartments, the property had been in the same family since the 1950s. Records show the site was purchased for just £9580.The operator pays $361,330 a year in rent giving the deal a tight yield of 3.1 per cent. There’s already plenty of action in East Melbourne with new luxury apartments lining the streets and two other development sites on the market recently. Last year, developers Pelligra and Primeland listed 83-91 Albert Street for sale with plans for an $80 million 14-unit project on the 1700-square-metre site. The Lyons Development Group also tried to sell Mena House at 29-37 Simpson Street with a permit for three swank houses designed by Karl Fender.

A luxury eco-lodge perched on a cliff overlooking the coral reefs surrounding Christmas Island has hit the market for the first time. Swell Lodge was built in 2018 as an isolated escape along the western coastline of the tropical island located 2,600km northwest of Perth, designed to capture uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean and surrounding rainforest. Established by global wildlife photographer Chris Bray, the dual luxury chalets are the only eco-getaways positioned inside any one of the federally managed national parks in Australia. Having travelled around the world to capture shots of animals in their natural habitat, he wanted to bring the best of his holiday resort experiences in places like the Galapagos Islands to Australia. The property is being sold with 25 years remaining on the leasehold agreement, with a fleet of vehicles, some of which come ready with crab-safe attachments.

On the market, in the pub-rich suburb of South Melbourne, is the Coppersmith Hotel at 435 Clarendon Street, near Albert Park Lake. The pub was bought by West Australian publican George Bagios in 2005 for $1.6 million. Since then, Bagios has completely revamped the old pub and built a swanky Hassell-designed five-story boutique hotel at its rear. The pub goes to auction on March 22 amid the F1 Grand Prix’s relentless revving engines. It has a new 45-year lease and returns $325,000 a year. It is likely to fetch more than $7.6 million. Cushman & Wakefield agents Alexander Leggo, Anthony Kirwan, Oliver Hay and Leon Ma are running the auction. Meanwhile, Endeavour is selling a $40 million portfolio of Dan Murphy outlets, including the old Lyndhurst Club Hotel in East Brunswick. Records show ALH Group Holdings bought the East Brunswick pub in 2007, paying $6.4 million. Endeavour has a brand new 10-year lease on the 2158 sq m hotel with options but does not occupy the entire building. It’s located at the very top of Lygon Street on the corner of Albion Street. The grand three-story pub has been closed for several years and the Dan Murphy’s business returns $262,234 a year in rent. An expected yield of 5 per cent puts the likely price at about $6 million. Stonebridge agents Michael Collins, Tom Moreland, Rorey James, Kevin Tong are running the campaign as part of the agent’s first national portfolio sale for 2024.

Harlow, the Cremorne pub once known as the Great Britain Hotel or the GB, is also on the market. Hospitality veterans Mark Robertson and Will Studd paid $3.4 million for it in 2012. The hotel at 447 Church Street is leased to another giant pub business – Australian Venue Co – which recently splashed $3.7 million on a renovation. The 1100 sq m building is on a 485 sq m corner site in Silicon Yarra, the city’s tech hub, and rocks a rooftop bar and a split-level beer garden. AVC’s lease expires in 2039 but includes two 10-year options. It returns $516,785 a year in rent. Fitzroys’ Paul Burns and Chris James are running the campaign and are expecting a yield of around 5.5 per cent, which equates to a price of about $9.5 million.

In 2021, there was a string of bumper pub deals, one of which was the Tudor Inn in Cheltenham. Pub landlord ALE – now owned by Charter Hall and super fund Hostplus – sold the 155-year-old pub to Golden Sun Investments for $15.66 million on a tight 3.79 per cent yield. Now Golden Sun is putting the 2152 sq m pub at 1281 Nepean Highway back on the market just three years later. Tudor Inn boasts a long lease, with options, to Endeavour Group’s ALH Group, and comes with a slew of bars and lounges, a BWS bottle shop, TAB and 56 gaming machines. Land tax is included in the income of $687,000 a year. Stonebridge Property Group agents Nic Hage, Rorey James and Kevin Tong are handling the listing. Melbourne pubs are currently returning yields of around 5 per cent, which would equate to a sale price of around $14 million.

Oddfellows, one of the CBD’s oldest pubs, is looking for a new operator. Harlow, the Cremorne pub once known as the Great Britain Hotel, is up for sale as is another well-known venue, the Coppersmith Hotel in South Melbourne. And in Cheltenham, the Tudor Inn is being offloaded just three years after its owner bought it for $15 million. Melbourne’s pubs rarely fetch the eye-watering prices achieved in NSW and Queensland, but sales and lease activity is quickly reaching similar levels seen north of the border. Big super property player ISPT has put one of the CBD’s oldest pubs up for lease. Oddfellows Hotel at 33-35 Little Lonsdale Street is on Madame Brussels Lane in the once notorious Little Lon district. The 562 sq m building has a rooftop terrace and laneway beer garden – not what it would have been called in 1853 when the building was completed, said Fitzroys’ James Lockwood and Franklin Gikas who, with Mitchell Humphreys of Future Proof, are handling expressions of interest.

A historic Bayside pub is closing after 167 years, with neighbour complaints, council challenges, and escalating costs to blame. The operators of Marine Hotel Brighton in New Street took to social media on Monday night to announce the closure. “It is with heavy hearts that we announce the closure of the Marine Hotel as of today. “After the rigours of opening and surviving in Covid, the Marine has been eternally grateful for the incredible support over the last two years from the local Bayside community. “Unfortunately in the face of continual neighbour complaints, ongoing council challenges and escalating costs led by extraordinary rent increases, we’ve had to make the tough decision to end our tenure. “We sincerely apologise for any disruptions to forward bookings and hope we’ve served you well over the last few years. Thank you for your patronage.” The page has been flooded with comments from punters sad to hear the news. “Absolutely gutted for you guys. The incredible renovation, awesome food, lovely staff & of course a huge investment. This is a very sad day indeed,” Karen wrote. According to the pub’s website it has a rich history dating back to 1856, and has been an integral social meeting place in bayside Melbourne since the days when the famous poet Adam Lindsay Gordon used to hitch his horse to the post that still stands at the front of the pub today. The pub has recently had a huge makeover. It also has five key spaces for private events.

The iconic Falls Treehouse at Millaa comes up for sale once again. The property hits the market for a negotiable price at $680,000. The Beautiful old Queenslander is full of charm, built in 1929, and could truly tell some stories about the local Tablelands history.