Shark Fin's $8m sale all in excellent taste

TWO of the Melbourne CBD's most popular restaurants sold for a total of $12.6 million in off-market deals this week.

TWO of the Melbourne CBD's most popular restaurants sold for a total of $12.6 million in off-market deals this week.

At 131-135 Little Bourke Street, Shark Fin House sold to an undisclosed investor for a price speculated to be about $8 million.

The restaurant's lease expires in 2018 when the tenant can exercise a further 10-year option. Based on the asset's annual rental of about $410,000, Shark Fin House sold on a low yield of about 5.15 per cent.

Meanwhile, at 430 Little Collins Street, a restaurant occupied by celebrity chef Shannon Bennett, and trading as Bistro Vue and Cafe Vue, sold for about $4.6 million. The ground floor tenancy of the historic Normanby Chambers building returns annual rent of $342,000 and sold on a yield of 7.5 per cent.

Savills directors Clinton Baxter and Nick Peden sold the investments dealing with two sets of vendors and purchasers. The 430 Little Collins Street asset, having been on the market with three separate agencies since earlier this year, sold within 16 days of their listing, they said.

"With literally billions of dollars of residential and commercial development projects under way in the CBD currently, the future for CBD retail and hospitality businesses is bright," Mr Baxter said.

Docklands buzz

A GATEWAY development site connecting Docklands with the recently rezoned 240-hectare Fishermans Bend precinct has quietly sold off-market for about $4 million.

Interestingly, the Port Melbourne asset was offloaded by Marina Darling, a recently appointed non-executive with Sydney-based development giant Mirvac, which is building the $1.1 billion Yarra's Edge precinct of Docklands across the road.

The 3923-square-metre block at 1 Rogers Street, on the corner of Boundary Road, sold to an as-yet undisclosed owner-occupier, but is expected to make way for a mixed-use village, including a retail arcade, apartments and car park.

Supermarket companies Coles and Woolworths, and hardware group Bunnings have been suggested, but the new buyer is not yet confirmed. The streets are effectively small courts accessible only off Lorimer Street also the address of Mirvac's five completed Docklands projects.

Jones Lang LaSalle's Lincoln Reynolds is understood to have negotiated the deal but declined to comment.

Since the rezoning of Fishermans Bend to make way for a series of high-density suburbs part of the Baillieu government's "Grand CBD" plan values of former industrial-zoned property around Port Melbourne and South Melbourne are re-adjusting upwards, according to agents. A Capital City Zone abolishes height restrictions. Planning Minister Matthew Guy has suggested industrial sites in these suburbs may make way for Melbourne's first 100-level-plus towers.

Mirvac is building its sixth residential tower within Yarra's Edge. It recently started marketing apartments within a seventh tower, Array.

Ballarat rises higher

A NEW landmark in the form of a five-level apartment tower is set to rise higher than any other building in the regional town of Ballarat, thanks to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

The apartment block, which will include a ground floor medical centre, is earmarked for a site on Lyons Street North, near the train station on part of the former Loreto College campus. The proposal was controversial, given it is in a heritage-protected precinct of the former gold rush town.

The redevelopment will include 95 car spaces and about 40 dwellings mostly configured as apartments. VCAT said the development caters to demand for higher density dwelling types in Ballarat, about 120 kilometres west of the CBD.

Beach pub auction

INTERESTS associated with the Smorgon family have pocketed $3.705 million selling a prominent pub on Port Melbourne's Beach Street.

The former London Hotel was marketed for its development potential and sold at auction yesterday to an investor represented by a buyers advocate. The 330 square metre site is opposite the Beacon Cove development and the beach. The double-storey pub on the site has a net lettable area of about 660 square metres. Beach Street continues south to become Beaconsfield Parade.

Vinci Carbone directors Joseph Carbone and Frank Vinci conducted the auction before a crowd of over 100, but declined to comment on buyer or seller when approached by Capital Gain.

Retirement village sale

AMP Capital Select Property Portfolio is expecting to make more than $30 million from the sale of a Pakenham retirement village with redevelopment potential.

The Cardinia Waters complex currently undergoing a $1.1 million extension and refurbishment includes 333 independent living units and a club house. In Racecourse Road, the village is near to the Pakenham and District Golf Course and the outgoing Pakenham Racetrack, which recently sold to residential developers.

Knight Frank's Leigh Morris and Ken Smirk are representing AMP which developed the village in association with Retirement Communities Australia.

Coburg apartments

THE owners of a former church and childcare centre are cashing in on the recent fall-out between major developer Equiset and Moreland City Council to develop an apartment-based village around the Coburg train station, eight kilometres north of town.

Since the heavily marketed $1 billion Coburg Initiative's stalling last September, the owners of the 2350 square metre site at 146 Bell Street, across the road from a train station and car park, have obtained a permit to redevelop the property as a nine-level, 102 unit apartment complex.

The block is now for sale seeking about $6.5 million according to sources.

Thousands of apartments were expected to be developed as part of the Coburg Initiative, in part to cater for strong demand in the suburb, which has seen local house and apartment values generally rise these last few cycles. A major apartment village is being developed within the walls of the former Pentridge Prison nearby.

Richmond revs up

ANOTHER motor trader has taken advantage of supposedly sluggish market conditions buying a prominent inner-city site it plans to owner-occupy.

The John Lane Group is believed to have paid about $4 million for a 2284 square metre site at 41 Madden Grove in Richmond, about three kilometres east of the CBD. The site overlooks the train line between the Burnley and East Richmond stations and includes a 3102-square-metre building area, expected to be refitted as a showroom and service depot. The property includes a historic bluestone component that will be retained.

In recent years, the Richmond property has been occupied by Mercedes Benz Toorak, but it was offered for sale with vacant possession.

TCI Property's directors, Jack Teneketzis and Alex Teneketzis, declined to comment on buyer or price. Of the campaign, however, Jack said the property sold quickly.

"The board went up on the Friday and by Monday it was sold," Mr Teneketzis told Capital Gain. "Later that week, several other owner-occupiers and developers called to show an interest."

Earlier this year, interests associated with the Zagame Automotive Group made headlines when they paid $60 million, in a joint venture arrangement, for the former Ansett headquarters at 501 Swanston Street in the CBD. That sale is the state's most expensive property to sell at auction.