Capital Gain

Italian provedores selling properties
By · 26 Oct 2013
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26 Oct 2013
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Italian provedores selling properties

Two prominent Italian families have listed for sale a portfolio of assets associated with their respective businesses and worth more than $20 million.

In Preston the Valmorbida family, which owns food company Conga and imports European products such as Moro oil, Ducale coffee and Val Verde pasta sauce, have listed for sale its former 2.5-hectare headquarters at 70 Bell Street near Darebin Creek and the Heidelberg West border.

Expected to sell for about $10 million, the site is being offered with plans to develop an $80 million bulky goods centre and a large car park.

Not far from Northland Shopping Centre, the former Conga Foods site abuts a 35-hectare former industrial precinct recently identified by the Darebin City Council as capable of being converted to residential use. The suburb's tallest apartment buildings are expected to rise from this pocket.

With a three-storey warehouse and a two-storey office, 70 Bell Street has been largely vacant since about 2008 when the Valmorbida family bought the prominent former Kodak office building on a hill in nearby Newlands Road, Coburg North.

Butera & Co directors David Butera and Robert Butera are selling the Bell Street site.

Meanwhile the Piedemonte family, which runs a suburban supermarket chain, has listed for sale four assets expected to reap about $10 million.

The buildings - for years owner-occupied by the family's subsidiary Ernest Hillier and Newman's chocolate brands - are being offered with a 10-year leaseback. Three of the four assets are in Coburg North. A fourth is in Campbellfield.

The Piedemonte family uses the commercial premises to manufacture and store its chocolate goods. Beller Commercial director Fred Nucara will auction the properties next month.

Grill'd shop in hot sale

A corner shop in Carlton, for the past three years owned by Laree Jane, former wife of businessman racing driver Bob Jane, was sold at auction last week by administrators.

More than 100 bids were made for the historic, two-storey, 136-square-metre building at 350 Lygon Street, which fetched $3.8 million. Fully leased to Grill'd restaurant, the asset sold on a low yield of 4.2 per cent.

The sale price values the building area in the popular retail strip at $27,720 a square metre. Lygon Street is rarely included in research relating to Melbourne's suburban strips but can command as high retail rents as strips in other inner-city suburbs such as Collingwood, Fitzroy and Richmond.

Knight Frank's Marcus Quinn and Langton McHarg marketed 350 Lygon Street on behalf of administrator Cor Cordis managing partner and insolvency specialist Bruno Secatore.

Upon meeting Laree in the mid-1980s, when she was 18, the tyre magnate, then in his 50s, arranged for the Bathurst teen to fly in a Learjet with Beatle George Harrison to the Adelaide grand prix.

The couple married and had three children before divorcing and fighting a settlement publicly via the courts in 2008. They are now friends.

In August, administrators sold another of Ms Jane's commercial assets - the Westpac bank branch at 141 High Street, Wodonga, for $2.6 million.

Jagged line to Jolimont

Online sportswear chain Jagged, part owned by Carlton's Chris Judd, has signed a three-year lease to occupy the former headquarters of Evans & Partners, a consultancy run by Essendon Football Club former chairman David Evans.

Jagged has leased the 371-square-metre, two-storey building at 66-68 Jolimont Street, East Melbourne, near the MCG. Lemon Baxter's Jay Pavey marketed the space, which was previously advertised with an asking rent of about $250 a square metre per annum. Evans & Partners has relocated to the Mayfair building at 171 Collins Street in the CBD.

King's ransom flagged

Local investors Henkell Brothers have listed for sale a low-rise office building opposite the Flagstaff Gardens that it bought three years ago.

The investment group is expected to reap about $35million for 383 King Street, which until recently was occupied by National Australia Bank. The 10-level office includes 104 car parking bays and just over 13,000 square metres of space to let.

NAB relocated King Street staff to Bourke Street and a new building at Docklands, which was publicly launched last week.

Given the trend for developers to replace older city buildings of less than 20 levels with skyscrapers several times larger - 383 King Street, on a 2206-square-metre block, may be more attractive to a developer, vacant, than to an investor, if it were fully leased.

The pocket where the CBD meets West Melbourne and Docklands, near the Queen Victoria Market, has been a hot-spot for developers with several 60-plus level buildings proposed in recent years.

Savills' Clinton Baxter and Nick Peden are representing Henkell Brothers, which paid $34 million for 383 King Street at a low point in the commercial property cycle.

In 2007, just before the economic downturn, Henkell Brothers offloaded a major portfolio of assets for premium prices. Three years later it bought back one of those buildings - 45 William Street, in the CBD - for $27 million after selling it for $33.3 million.

Henkell Brothers also own a building at the super-prime corner of Punt Road and Victoria Street where East Melbourne meets Abbotsford, Collingwood and Richmond.

Shutter down at Kodak

Kodak, which has sharpened its business since near collapse last year, has subleased part of an inner-city office after vacating for something smaller and cheaper in the suburbs.

The former camera-focused company, which now concentrates on imaging solutions and services for businesses, has leased the 1644-square-metre second level of a near-new office at 436 Johnston Street in Abbotsford - near the Yarra River, Kew border and the start of the Eastern Freeway.

Kodak fitted out the Abbotsford office space two years ago.

The building's new tenant, technology and document services group OneVue, has agreed to a two-year lease at a starting rent of $315 a square metre per annum.

Jones Lang LaSalle's Joshua Tebb and Knight Frank's Simon D'arcy were the marketing agents.

Kodak, meanwhile, has relocated and downsized to an 800-square-metre office at 18-20 Prospect Street in Box Hill, about 14 kilometres east of the CBD.

Some 21 hectares of land, once part of Kodak's Coburg North headquarters, were sold in 2011 to Perth-based Satterley Group and is now being marketed as a housing estate, Coburg Hill.

Twitter: @marcpallisco
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