Food doyenne sells Gertrude Street restaurant freeholdsGertrude Street restaurant Cutler & Co.

Food doyenne sells Gertrude Street restaurant freeholds

Three terraces housing Andrew McConnell’s landmark Gertrude Street restaurants Cutler & Co and Marion Wine Bar have been put on the market by the estate of cultural maven Patricia O’Donnell.

Ms O’Donnell, who died in 2018, was instrumental in creating and nurturing the city’s thriving hospitality and literary circles and in the regions.

She co-founded and ran Mietta’s in Queenscliff, established by her sister Mietta O’Donnell and Mietta’s husband Tony Knox, and later, the North Fitzroy Star Hotel, and supported significant literary and music events in both the city and Queenscliff.

The Gertrude Street complex is on three titles and includes a small office and an apartment at the rear.

Nelson Alexander Commercial agents Arch Staver and Damien Theisz are marketing the property, which is expected to fetch between $8 million and $9 million. That figure reflects a 4 per cent yield on the estimated $350,000 rent which could be earned if all the elements were fully leased.

The proceeds will go to the Mietta Foundation, which supports a wide range of arts and cultural activities.

Office sell-down

Meanwhile, the great office sell-down in the inner eastern market continues with two Hawthorn buildings selling this week.

Offices at 108-110 Church Street, owned by the family of local hero Kylie Minogue, fetched nearly $20 million, while another property at 313-317 Burwood Road sold for more than $15 million.

An investor, keen to get into the office market, purchased the Burwood Road property through Fitzroys agents David Bourke, Chris James and Shawn Luo.

The 1855 sq m four-level building is on an 1185 sq m parcel of land, with frontages to both Burwood Road and Lynch Street and 68 car parks.

It’s leased to BIG4 Holiday Parks, the Australian headquarters of fuel systems engineers Leighton O’Brien, Fuse Recruitment and HID Accountants. The average lease term is 4.1 years.

Mr Bourke said the deal was closed within 36 hours of the campaign’s end, with the property selling on a passing net yield of 3.4 per cent.

“Hawthorn has emerged as a ‘one-to-watch’ among Melbourne’s commercial markets. It’s situated in an inner-suburban sweet spot which attracts tenants from central locations and further out suburbs. The campaign showed that reputation extends to local and offshore interests,” Mr Bourke said.

The Minogue family sold their Church Street offices to South Australian retailer John Charlton, founder of Spendless Shoes on a yield believed to be in the mid-4 per cent range.

They paid $12.5 million for the 2368 sq m building in 2007. It is on a 1592 sq m parcel of land and has parking for 70 cars.

Ms Minogue returned to Melbourne this year after 30-odd years in the UK and did the hard lockdown weeks with the rest of us.

Derrimut deal

A private investor has out-foxed a clutch of institutions by outlying $20.85 million on a Derrimut distribution centre and setting a record 3.3 per cent yield.

The value of industrial investments has surged in the past 18 months, reflecting the growing importance of storage and distribution in the new era of internet retail.

Colliers agents Jack Kelliher, Nick Saunders and Hugh Gilbert handled the deal, which was completed before a campaign even started. Drew Williams of Rutherfords Property advised the purchaser.

The vendor, Next Generation Property, paid $8.45 million for the property in 2007.

The 9265 sq m distribution centre at 20 Calarco Drive is on a 21,290 sq m site and leased by Cryer Malt, the biggest distributor of craft brewing ingredients in Australia and New Zealand.

That suggests a lot of home-brewing this summer.

Off market

The prospective but controversial development of the Preston Market is starting to create some weather in the slowly gentrifying northern suburb.

Mark Lo Guidice’s Crawfords Group has just made an interesting off-market purchase, buying the fire-damaged Westpac bank building at 391 High Street.

The bank is in front of the Cramer Hotel and a furniture store which caught fire in March.

Mid-way through the renovation of the corner property, Mr Lo Guidice made an offer on the 414 sq m building.

It’s understood he has a tenant lined up for the two-storey building for which he paid $2.8 million.

Johnston Street

Back in Fitzroy, a block of land on the corner of Napier and Johnston streets is on the market for the first time in more than 50 years.

The 1484 sq m site at 317-327 Napier Street has a large car park out the front of the McCoppins bottle shop and a Captain Snooze mattress showroom.

The tenants return around $304,650 a year in rent and there are further five-year terms on leases set to expire in 2024 and 2022 respectively.

JLL agents Josh Rutman, Tim Carr, MingXuan Li and CVA Property Consultants’ Ian Angelico are handling expressions of interest which close on December 8.

It’s expected to fetch more than $13.5 million if the past 12 months’ worth of sales are anything to go by.

Any new development could be as high as 10 levels, according to the newly revised Johnston Street Built Form Framework, which gives the site added value.

New developers in the core Fitzroy zone include Piccolo, which paid $14.275 million for an Australia Post site at 371-385 Gore Street, Beulah International, which bought 430-434 Gore Street for $12.5 million, and Sydney-based Danny Avidan’s Dare Group, which paid $4.6 million for 235 Napier Street.

Low cost

The City of Melbourne’s and state government’s shopfront activation program is helping get retail deals over the line, with low-cost or free space given over to artists, budding entrepreneurs and artisan makers.

It’s a reminder of the post-recession 1990s when CBD rents were cheap and new shops opened and closed every week – a frequency of turnover that had shoppers treading the laneways just to see what was new.

Fitzroys agents James Lockwood and Rick Berry have negotiated leases at Nos.186 and 148 Little Collins Street on four-month terms.

Men’s clothing label Informale is moving into No.186, while mental health organisation LIVIN, which is using fashion to kickstart discussion, has leased No.148.

Martin Ginnane of Ginnane & Associates and Richard Jenkins of Plan1 Project Management & Consultancy were also involved in sourcing tenants for the program which is designed to kickstart key areas in the city and get some action in any shopfronts.

“Landlords have been happy to engage in the hopes of securing long-term leases,” Mr Lockwood said.

Keep up with Commercial Real Estate news.

Check out our Privacy Policy.