The ground floor and mezzanine of Melbourne's 131 Queen Street, made famous in 1976 as the scene of the 'Great Bookie Robbery', has been sold to a local investor for $7.25 million.
According to CBRE, the property proved an historic point of interest for a wide range of buyers, with three investors and four owner-occupiers putting offers forward at the close of the first round of Expressions of Interest.
The agency's Ashley McIntyre, who negotiated the sale alongside Max Ruttner, Alex Brierely and Ben McMahon, says the property sold for $7,729 per square metre, a strong result for a strata floor of this size.
"At 938sqm, the property's sale signifies the largest strata transaction of 2018 a year which saw prices driven up by a shortage in full floor supply and purchasers seeking opportunities," says McIntyre.
"Over the course of 2018, values were driven up by a lack of new strata office listings, while a 10-year record low vacancy rate of 3.6% in Melbourne saw tenants looking to purchase their own office space as leasing rates increased dramatically only six strata floors over 300sqm sold in Melbourne's CBD throughout the year."
Ruttner notes sites of this nature are attracting investors and owner-occupiers in equal numbers, with the promise of flexibility and a central location.
"Our team was fielding enquiry from a range of users, including hospitality operators, education providers and white-collar office users who saw the benefit of being located at the centre of the financial and legal precincts in Melbourne," says Ruttner.
The property was purchased by a domestic investor, with prominent lawyer Eu Ming Lim of Thomson Geer acting on its behalf.
"The introduction of co-working operators has added a new dimension to the market," says Ruttner.
"Initially we thought it may have a negative impact on sales, however, we have found co-working has allowed more entrepreneurs to get their businesses off the ground, converting them into office purchasers at a later date."
"Demand from co-working operators has also influenced our campaigns, adding a new buyer profile we are able to target for our vendors."
McIntyre adds the buyer is set to benefit from existing and impending amenity in the area, including the recently announced NAB headquarters at 405 Bourke Street, the CBUS mixed-use development at 150 Queen Street and the Collins Arch development around the corner.
"As Melbourne's population continues to grow and the city's unemployment rates remain stable, owner occupier and investor demand for well-positioned strata office and retail space is expected to remain stable," she says.
Business News Australia
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