MELBOURNE CBD OFFICE SELLS FOR $80 MILLION

MELBOURNE CBD OFFICE SELLS FOR $80 MILLION
A MAJOR office space in Melbourne's CBD has been snapped up by a private Chinese investor for an estimated $80 million.

The sale, by an unlisted property trust associated with Melbourne businessmen Ron Lazarovits and Max Fremder, was negotiated on the vendor's behalf by Colliers International and Teska Carson.

The 10-level office building at 438 Elizabeth Street, which covers a large area of Melbourne's university quarter and has a net lettable area of nearly 14,000 square metres, returns an income of approximately $4.5 million per year - a gross yield of 5.6 per cent.

The complex is almost fully leased to RMIT University.

Colliers city sales director Daniel Wolman says the property attracted steady interest from both domestic and offshore buyers, with competition fuelled by the shortage of quality office buildings within the area.

"The low office vacancy rate in the precinct demonstrates the shortage of quality office buildings and the competition for scarce sites from other sectors, including education, student accommodation, retail and residential," he says.

"428 Elizabeth Street is strategically located to capitalise on the shortage of office accommodation within the area."

Wolman says the precinct is primed for growth on the back of changes to Swanston Street from the Metro roadworks, which will shift more traffic to Elizabeth Street.

"The buyer seized the opportunity to secure a commanding office and retail investment situated within one of the Melbourne CBD's most dynamic and evolving precincts, the civic core," he says.

"It is surrounded by a variety of major commercial, education and retail destinations, including the Melbourne Central office and retail complex, QV, Queen Victoria Market and Swanston Street."

The complex includes four prime retail tenancies and 107 secure undercover car parks.

It last traded in 2005 when the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union sold it for $28 million.

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