Oviss family to sell 15 shops across Melbourne accumulated over 70 years18 Were Street in Montmorency is leased to a bustling bakery business.

Family of late businessman Harry Oviss to sell 15 Melbourne shops

The appetite for high-street retail in Melbourne is set to be tested with the auction of 15 properties owned by the late businessman Harry Oviss.

The properties – to be sold individually – could fetch about $22 million in total when they go under the hammer later this month.

Harry Oviss accumulated the portfolio over seven decades while earning a reputation in Melbourne as a successful clothing entrepreneur, construction magnate and passionate art collector.

Born in Palestine in 1923, he migrated to Australia with his Polish-born parents at 11 months old.

Following in the footsteps of his parents, who ran a coat business, Oviss opened a knitwear shop in the Block Arcade in Melbourne CBD when he was just 19. He soon turned his attention to property and development, with a particular focus on suburbs in the city’s north and north-east.

His purchases were spread across suburban retail shopping strips such as Station Street in Fairfield, Sydney Road in Brunswick, High Street in Northcote and Anderson Street in Yarraville.

55 Sydney Road in Brunswick is to be auctioned with vacant possession.
55 Sydney Road in Brunswick is to be auctioned with vacant possession.

“In my 30-plus years of real estate I have never seen a portfolio like this being marketed,” said Michael Gross of Gross Waddell ICR, appointed to sell the portfolio alongside Danny Clark and Alex Ham.

Mr Gross said all the properties were strategically purchased “in the strongest parts of the retail strips”.

Of the 15, only two premises are being sold with vacant possession. The portfolio includes shops leased to hospitality and retail outlets.

The sale comes after Melbourne emerges from a difficult 18 months for the retail sector, in which shop vacancy rates shot up to almost 20 per cent in some shopping streets.

Mr Ham said the pandemic had highlighted the importance of high-street retail precincts. “Not only are they a place to stock up on essential items but they have also become a meeting point for the surrounding communities.”

The cheapest of the lot has a price tag of $850,000, while the most expensive investment is tipped to trade for $4 million.

Four prime retail properties on Station Street will be offered as one.
Four prime retail properties on Station Street will be offered as one.

Four fully leased shops along Station Street in Fairfield will be offered as one package deal, likely appealing to land bankers or developers.

Harry Oviss passed away in January this year, aged 97. His two daughters are selling the real estate portfolio after auctioning off their father’s extensive private art collection of more than 1000 items last month.

The retail properties are scheduled to go to auction from 11am on November 25. 

Keep up with Commercial Real Estate news.

Check out our Privacy Policy.