Capital Gain

Southbank's Hanover House open to buyers

Developer Sam Alter has decided against building a landmark apartment building at one of Southbank's busiest corners.

The chairman of Pacific Shopping Centres, which develops and invests in residential and commercial projects nationally, is instead readying to sell Hanover House, which the Alter family has owned for almost 35 years.

Until the 1990s one of Southbank's tallest buildings, but now dwarfed by the city's most noteworthy skyscrapers, Hanover House was developed in 1973 and refurbished in 1997. The seven-level, 6243-square-metre concrete office on a 1284-square-metre block at the north-east corner of City Road and Power Street - also Pacific Shopping Centre's headquarters - is expected to sell for about $22 million.

In 2010, the Alter family sought permission from former planning minister Justin Madden to replace Hanover House with a 44-level, 464-unit, bronze-glass residential building that was never developed.

The permitted Elenberg Fraser tower would rob westerly views currently enjoyed by low and mid-rise residents at the ritzy, 92-level Eureka building and 62-level Freshwater Place, on the same block.

Given how dense Melbourne's planning precedents have become, any new owner may seek to build a substantially taller building. Towers of 70 levels or more have been approved in the immediate area.

CBRE's Mark Wizel and Josh Rutman are the marketing agents.

Hanover House is the second major Southbank block to hit the market this week targeting residential developers. Australand has also listed for sale a portion of its Freshwater Place village, wedged behind established buildings and with more limited views and security than Hanover House. Australand is seeking about $25 million.

Former consulate sold

The German government is selling a former consulate in South Yarra it has owned for 49 years.

The S-shaped block on a hilltop site at 480 Punt Road is understood to have sold for about $5 million. The 2800-square-metre parcel includes a historic building and a large tract of vacant land that offers a straightforward development opportunity.

It is unknown whether a developer, organisation or wealthy private investor has bought it. The asset was only listed for sale in mid-August.

Colliers International's Jeremy Gruzewski and Ben Baines and Kay & Burton's Gerald Delany are the marketing agents.

Melton block for sale

Bendigo businessman Don Erskine, who famously gifted half his engineering firm to his staff in 2009, is readying to cash in from a major development site on Melbourne's western outskirts.

The 66-hectare Exford Road block in Melton South, about 35 kilometres from town, is for sale with a permit for an 850-lot subdivision and is expected to sell for about $30 million. The parcel abuts Toolern Creek Regional Park and is near a future activity space, part of the Waterford Estate housing complex.

Biggin Scott Land's Andrew Egan and Frank Nagle, with Latitude Real Estate's Bob Hand are representing Mr Erskine, whose Bendigo-based company Industrial Conveying (Australia) supplies elevators and packaging equipment. More than 120 families in Bendigo and 30 at a Tullamarine plant benefited from his donation.

Way to go Woy Woy!

A developer paid $3.95 million at auction this week for the Woy Woy Apartments complex on the Elwood waterfront.

The art deco building at 77 Marine Parade occupies part of a 639-square-metre block with two street frontages.

The rear land portion is expected to make way for a new complex, possibly a hotel. The Woy Woy building itself will be kept. At present it includes five units and a rooftop terrace with water and city skyline views.

Gross Waddell's Andrew Greenway marketed the property with Pride Real Estate's Tony Pride and Margaret Duncan.

Former post office

The developer who transformed the former Prahran Post Office into a luxury mixed-use project is now selling the asset and can expect about $10 million. The 1890-square-metre, historic complex on the corner of Greville and Macquarie streets, near Chapel Street, includes six upper-level office suites currently leased to four tenants.

A ground-floor area is leased to the Zucca Rossa Italian restaurant, with respected chef Jonathan Alston.

Developed in the mid-1850s, the complex was fully rebuilt and extended in 2010. On a 734-square-metre block, there is the potential to extend the building up, creating more office or residential space.

As it is, the asset returns about $620,000 in annual rent - increasing to more than $640,000 next year.

The CBRE selling agents are Josh Rutman, Tom Tuxworth and Mark Wizel.

Shell looks north

With suburban Melbourne sprawling north, one forward-thinking petroleum giant has decided to jump the crowd.

Shell has leased a vacant block at the front of the prominent Truck City complex, which it plans to develop as a service station and mixed-use complex - an investment of some $3.5 million.

The 4500-square-metre block will also accommodate a truck stop and a convenience store to be run by Coles.

VicRoads has recently permitted a new driveway to the property at 1805-1825 Hume Highway.

Butera & Co directors Robert Butera and David Butera, whose patch includes the sprawling north, declined to comment about the suburban lease deal when contacted.

Recent planning changes and investment by developers will see metropolitan Melbourne spread from its current outskirts around Craigieburn, 25 kilometres from the city centre, to beyond Beveridge, about 42 kilometres from town.

Obstructed views

Docklands occupants including the ANZ Bank and residents in the ritzy Tower 5 complex and Array building, which is under construction, will lose their unobstructed and postcard Yarra River views to a busy road and bridge.

Plans made public this week as part of the Fishermans Bend renewal project involve extending Collins Street over the Yarra River into Plummer Street, Port Melbourne, and eventually towards Garden City and the Sandridge Beach.

The proposed major road appears to slice through a car park and Point Park, which Mirvac has marketed as a feature of its Yarra's Edge slice of Docklands.

It is expected the new road will become quite congested, replacing the nearby Charles Grimes Bridge for commuters needing city/southern-suburb access.

Once it crosses the river from Yarra's Edge, the proposed road would abut the western and northern edge of the near-new ANZ headquarters.

Mirvac declined to comment and ANZ did not respond to questions about the proposal when contacted.

Some agents fear the path could create a repeat of the South Wharf and Flinders Wharf complexes nearby, which are unattractive to tenants by being disconnected from the CBD via a major road.

marcpallisco@gmail.com

Twitter: @marcpallisco

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