Sydney’s biggest roller skating rink in the 19th century has been scooped up for $13 million by non-profit cancer organisation CanTeen after more than 40 years in the same hands.
The Trocadero and Académie de Musique, a Victorian Fleming-style commercial building at 69-77 King Street, Newtown, was owned by Moore Theological College, which bought the property in 1974.
CanTeen has been the anchor tenant in the state heritage-listed building since February 2014, occupying most of the 1700 square metres of internal space.
Collier International selling agents James Cowan and Matthew Meynell received more than 250 inquiries, more than 50 inspections and multiple offers of interest in the expressions of interest campaign. Although the property sold late year, settlement has only just revealed the price.
The agents were quoting recent comparable sales of more than $10 million, including the historic Chippendale warehouse, which the University of Technology Sydney paid $11.25 million for last March.
“CanTeen has secured a location where they can continue to provide their wonderful support to young people for years to come in the knowledge that they now have long term security of tenure,” Mr Cowan said.
“They have now secured a foot in the competitive Sydney real estate market and an investment which will undoubtedly perform well into the future.”
CanTeen’s chief executive officer Peter Orchard said relocating to Newtown from the CBD three years ago had largely been based on the lower costs of being in a suburb and was excited to secure a permanent base in their “spiritual home”.
“Newtown also offered a more affordable option than the CBD, a crucial consideration given we are a not-for-profit. In the three years CanTeen has resided in the Trocadero it has proved a wonderful location and space for young people as well as staff and all those involved in CanTeen,” Mr Orchard said.
Built during the economic boom of the late 1880s, the Trocadero was one of at least 25 rinks in Sydney at the time, when the indoor sport was a raging fad.
The complex was purpose-built for roller skating, which distinguished it from other venues, but also included a billiard room, hairdressing salons, oyster saloons, fountains and a French cafe.
Following a string of skating rink closures in 1891 during the Depression, the entertainment hall shut down in 1893 and was left empty. It was then extensively renovated before reopening as Williams Skating Rink and Music Hall in 1903.
The upper clubroom was used as a local centre for soldiers’ wives and mothers by the Sydney University Women’s Settlement from 1916 to 1922.
Owned previously by department store chain Grace Brothers, the building was sold to a local business Properts Motor Body Works in 1945, ending the property’s use as an entertainment venue.
The Moore Theological College carried out extensive conservation work in 2006, including restoring the vestibule entry, rebuilding the shopfronts and repainting the façade.
Keep up with Commercial Real Estate news.