Time stands still for the clock on the silo
Grand, but guarded, plans to build a $200 million village on the substantial parcel of land around Richmond's heritage-listed Nylex clock have stalled.
Last October Planning Minister Matthew Guy and then premier Ted Baillieu announced the clock would be the centrepiece of a plan to include retail space around a public plaza and offices incorporated into historic buildings.
A second stage could result in demolition of the 12-level silos under the Nylex sign to make way for two apartment towers, possibly rising more than 20-levels. The clock could sit atop a new tower.
The owner, represented through Hede Architects' Rick Tanti, would not comment specifically about the proposal, branded Richmond Malt.
He expects the site, bound by the Monash Freeway and Cremorne and Gough streets and stretching almost to Punt Road, will take more than 10 years to redevelop.
Mr Guy, on 3AW last year, called the first stage "right what needs to be developed there". But a detailed announcement of the project, promised for October 19, never eventuated.
The Department of Planning and Community Development this week referred Fairfax Media to the City of Yarra as responsible planning authority. A council spokesman said it approved a Heritage Victoria-permitted plan for the site well before October's announcements. It had heard nothing since.
A local developer says the Nylex site has quietly been for sale for years - "I could buy it tomorrow if I wanted". He is less enthusiastic than the government and expects the site will be sold off in pieces.
Like the Skipping Girl sign in Abbotsford, the high cost of maintaining the Nylex clock has made the site unattractive to developers. Over decades, several major proposals have been earmarked for the site.
Grollos into Hawthorn
Developers Lorenz and Rino Grollo have won permission to demolish part of a historic mansion and adjoining former Salvation Army Citadel - built 100 years ago - and build a nine-level apartment building with 62 car parks behind them.
The proposed 64-unit project at 410-420 Burwood Road in Hawthorn is at the south-eastern corner of Launder Street opposite Swinburne University, near the Glenferrie station.
Swinburne sold the properties on a 725 square metre block in 2011 for about $5 million.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal approved the proposal which was rejected last year by the Boroondara City Council.
Hengyi makes a home
The Australian arm of China-based developer Hengyi has leased 700 square metres in a historic seven-level property at 400 Collins Street.
Hengyi Australia, which is chaired by Min Wang, is expected to fit out the ground level with a display suite showcasing its growing number of local apartment offerings. It will relocate administration functions currently performed at 190 Queen Street to the first level of 400 Collins Street.
The six-year lease, at a starting annual rent of about $500 per square metre, was negotiated by Savills' Mathew Kent.
Footscray circle closes
A parkside property in inner-west Footscray, earmarked a century ago for housing but developed as factories, may come full circle after being listed for sale and aimed at residential builders.
The industrial property at 40-44 Robbs Road is expected to sell for about $7 million. The 13,000-square-metre facility is offered with a new five-year lease returning starting rent of $686,000.
Overloooking Footscray West's Hansen Reserve, the site is opposite a former industrial block recently rezoned to allow for a 49-unit townhouse project.
Vinci Carbone director Frank Vinci says he expects investors as well as developers to inspect 40-44 Robbs Road, which is on 1.3 hectares.
Brothers in arms
Brothers David and Robert Butera are the latest high-profile commercial agents to go it alone.
With their long stint at Jones Lang LaSalle ending last year, they have opened a new office in Carlton, offering agency, advisory and property management services. The Buteras say major agencies are not employing staff with knowledge, dedication, or a level of service that they can offer from a boutique agency.
Going, going, merged
Forty-year-old Leski Auctions has merged with another auction house, Mossgreen, and plans to open a specialist art and collectables house from the Armadale office for years occupied by international group Sotheby's.
The High Street office will be rebranded for Mossgreen. Sotheby's is relocating to a strata office building at 41 Exhibition Street in the city.
Montague kisses sky
The number of apartment skyscrapers earmarked for Montague, Melbourne's next inner-city suburb, has ballooned to 21.
Interests associated with the Bob Jane Group have lodged plans to build two 30-level towers on a 5457-square-metre site at 134-150 Buckhurst Street, a property bought for $11 million last year.
The development will include 645 flats, 495 car spaces and almost 1200 square metres of retail space, which it is believed will be retained and occupied by the Bob Jane business.
Nearby, at 166-168 Buckhurst Street, plans have been lodged for a 20-level building that will include 88 flats, 63 car spaces and 451 square metres of office space.
On Wednesday Lemon Baxter successfully auctioned a 1211-square-metre industrial warehouse at 125 Thistlethwaite Street to a residential developer.
The $4.2 million sale price reflected a land rate of $3467 per square metre, up from about $2000 before last July's landmark rezoning of 240 hectares at Fishermans Bend. Richard Hutton and Jonathan Walls were the marketing agents.
Cancer Council exit
Cancer Council Victoria has reaped $9 million selling the last of two Carlton properties it is vacating later this year.
Identified by row of terraces at 100 Drummond Street, the site is understood to have sold to an investor who will refurbish a six-level, 3354-square-metre office that rises at the back of the block. The office includes 29 car spaces and sits on a 1189-square-metre parcel.
CCV offered it for sale with a higher-profile property at 1 Rathdowne Street overlooking Carlton Gardens, which a residential developer bought for $19 million this week.
CCV was expected to reap about $25 million from divesting the two assets. Chief executive Todd Harper said sale proceeds would be directed into research and cancer support programs.
Savills directors Clinton Baxter and Nick Peden represented CCV, which will consolidate to 615 St Kilda Road, opening a shop from a historic former pump house at the front of its new headquarters.
Time stands still for the clock on the silo
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