A veteran property developer is wasting no time redeveloping part of Richmond’s historic ex-Rosella sauce factory, which he bought last October for a bullish $12.5 million – nearly twice the price the vendor paid four years earlier.
BRW Rich Lister Zig Inge, the head of the Zig Inge Group, has lodged plans to build a distinctive seven-level, part-curved office on airspace atop the heritage-protected red-brick factory, which was developed for the then 10-year old Rosella Preserving Company in 1905 on part of the former Cremorne Gardens amusement park, on the Yarra River’s northern bank.
Zig Inge Group’s proposed tower, images of which have been posted to the website of architecture firm Rothelowan, show it standing prominently beside the busy train line between the South Yarra and Richmond train stations, opposite the popular Cherry Tree Hotel.
The mooted $30 million office complex would also include a three-level basement car park and a restaurant space on the ground floor.
The application comes 14 years after a former owner applied to part demolish the Rosella factory and fill the airspace with a four-level office building, also with underground car parking.
The 1620-square-metre holding at 57-61 Balmain Street is in a tree-lined pocket of the inner-eastern suburb known as Cremorne, and which has in recent years proven attractive to IT-based office occupants.
Last month MYOB Australia leased its second modern Cremorne office for creative staff that didn’t want to work at the company’s Glen Waverley headquarters, 30 kilometres south east of the CBD. The multinational is paying rent of $375 a square metre per annum, to sub-let the 691-square-metre space at 449 Punt Road, which is less than two kilometres from town.
Three weeks ago, at the prominent Richmond Silos site behind 449 Punt Road, which includes the famous Nylex clock and 1962 silo in Paul Kelly’s song “Leaps and Bounds”, developer Caydon won heritage approval to build a major mixed-use complex containing some 650 apartments in two towers of 13 and 14 storeys.
A Zig Inge Group representative declined to comment about the application lodged with the City of Yarra council last month.
Five months ago the company sold an office at the Botanicca Business Park, also in Richmond, for just over $10 million. Zig Inge Group paid $6.15 million for that 582 Swan Street complex in the 2013 mortgagee deal.
In 2015 the group paid $4.4 million for Prahran’s Flying Duck Hotel.
Zig Inge Group, which for years focused on retirement villages before diversifying to become an investor and developer, famously turned around a near $10 million profit on-selling the Toorak estate which was the childhood home of ex-premier Ted Baillieu for $25 million, 13 months after buying it.
The purchaser, property developer Harry Stamoulis, went on to build what agents consider Melbourne’s most valuable home, with a market value upwards of $100 million.