Just over a year ago a quaint cottage stood at 190 Coventry Street.
Now an office building that looks set to change the South Melbourne landscape is taking form on the skinny site.
It’s a reflection of the change of pace in the Melbourne office market, where low interest rates are fuelling increased owner-occupier demand for boutique office developments, according to CBRE’s Nick Lower.
“We’ve had a huge level of interest already. With another drop of interest rates just the other day, it opens the door to another group of buyers,” he said.
“People who own businesses and are looking for new space are really starting to do the numbers on leasing versus buying, and with the rise of people buying off the plan apartments, buyers are becoming comfortable with buying commercial space prior to it being built.”
Mr Lower and CBRE colleagues Tim Last and Tom Tuxworth are marketing each of the five levels for sale at 190 Coventry Street, South Melbourne, with negotiations currently under way with a retailer tenant.
The building features two upper level balconies and extensive use of glass. Photo: Supplied
“Contracts are available in about 10 days time, so up until then we are just building inquiries,” Mr Lower said. “We decided at this stage we wont be reserving any properties and will be conducting negotiations with each interested party.”
The building is set to be completed in three months. Mr Lower has put an estimated price of $600,000 upwards on each of the floors, which range in size from 71.5 to 100.2 square metres.
Side cutaway of the 190 Coventry Street building. Photo: Supplied
According to Mr Lower, interest in the building has been around 95 per cent from owner-occupiers, many of whom are looking to purchase through their self-managed super fund.
“It’s quite a diverse range, to be honest with you. Professional firms, accountants, lawyers, creative services, a full spectrum of buyers,” Mr Lower said.
“The boutique offering is certainly making people pick up the phone and call. As you can see from the artist’s renderings, it’s a pretty attractive building. You can see the developers spent a lot of time with their architects [Petridis Architects] and their interior designers, and that it’s really paid off on the final design.”
The building which used to occupy the space at 190 Coventry Street, as seen in 2014. Photo: Google Streetview
According to Mr Lower, the office’s dramatic glass frontages, rooftop garden, ground floor retail space and two upper-level balconies should re-energise the tired South Melbourne office precinct.
“Most of the interest has been from local buyers within two to five kilometres of the project, who are recognising that it’s new for South Melbourne,” he said.
“There’s been a lack of high quality supply in that South Melbourne precinct for some time now, and there’s hope that this project will kickstart a rejuvenation of the office market in that area.”
New owners will have the opportunity to put their own stamp on the building, which also incorporates basement parking and end-of-trip facilities.
“Each office is an empty shell, allowing people to come in and put their own personality into their office space,” Mr Lower said.
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