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St Kilda Road mansion tipped to fetch $9.5m after collapse of wedding business tenant The Willows

November 2, 2018

The site occupies nearly 1000 square metres. Photo: Supplied

The former Melbourne home of collapsed wedding reception service The Willows has hit the market with a price tag of $9.5 million.

The venue manager Lewis Hospitality Management, which was the previous tenant at 462 St Kilda Road, went into liquidation in June.

Sixty-four couples were collectively left more than $300,000 out of pocket, The Age reported.

The building, Rathgael, was built in 1890. Photo: SuppliedThe building, Rathgael, was built in 1890. Photo: Supplied

Now the fringe CBD building which the company leased as its main venue has been put on the market with vacant possession by its owners, the Aswani family, which has held it as an investment asset for 20 years, according to The Age.

Colliers International’s Chris Ling, who is selling the property with Daniel Wolman and Oliver Hay, said the 987-square-metre site would be attractive because of the shortage of substantial land blocks in the area.

“It is pretty flexible, it’s got a 1000-square-metre, or thereabouts, land parcel in the heart of St Kilda Road with the new Anzac train station coming up; that pocket of St Kilda Road in South Melbourne has really come a long way,” Mr Ling told Commercial Real Estate.

“Not often do you get a 1000 square metres to buy in that area.”

Interest so far has been “pretty positive”, coming in early from hospitality operators, private family offices, local investors and developers as well as offshore groups.

The venue could be reused for hospitality services. Photo: SuppliedThe venue could be used for hospitality services. Photo: Supplied

“The likes of all the private corporates along St Kilda Road, we expect a big interest from them,” Mr Ling said.

“It’s got a seven-day, on-site liquor permit, which is pretty hard to come by in that area.”

The freestanding property has an outdoor area fronting 29 metres of St Kilda Road, as well as a commercial kitchen.

It can be used as offices, retail, and hospitality or for further development, subject to council approval.

Co-agent Allard Shelton’s Joseph Walton, who has the listing with Michael Ryan and Patrick Barnes, said the property’s position within the St Kilda Road precinct, among major corporate national and international headquarters, was the main drawcard.

Constructed in 1890, the heritage-listed building, known as Rathgael, was built for bookmaker Leon Cohen as 16-room brick house.

It is “one of very few mansions” remaining that shows the extravagant prestige of this part of Melbourne in the 1880s and early 1890s, its heritage record wrote.

The property is being marketed through a public tender campaign, closing November 29.

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