Uni opts for higher learning

Victoria University is selling its prominent CBD campus building that faces the Yarra River and Southbank ahead of its move to a new education super-tower in Little Lonsdale Street.

Victoria University is selling its prominent CBD campus building that faces the Yarra River and Southbank ahead of its move to a new education super-tower in Little Lonsdale Street.

The 300 Flinders Street office rises 12 levels above a nine-level car park and includes more than 14,000 sq m of space, for years occupied by the university.

In 2011 Victoria University sold the 574-bay car park for $28.1 million. The office area now available above was expected to sell for about $45 million.

Savills directors Clinton Baxter and Nick Peden said the university was offering a two-year leaseback arrangement of about $4 million annually, with a 3.5 per cent increase next year.

The building is the second former education centre to be offered to the market this month, with Melbourne Institute of Technology entrepreneur Shesh Ghale offloading a private college at 388 Lonsdale Street for about $22 million.

Victoria University plans to migrate students from six city sites to a new "vertical campus" for which it recently gained planning approval.

The university's redevelopment of the historic former women's venereal disease clinic in Little Lonsdale Street as a 32-storey campus for 25,000 students may prove contentious as Melbourne City Council has nominated the building for heritage protection.

The tower will also overlook the heritage protected Royal Mint precinct.

Meanwhile, another heritage office built on the site of Melbourne's first synagogue that has recently been put on the market may also face redevelopment.

Price expectations for the six-storey Equity Chambers building at 472 Bourke Street are about $15 million. The offshore owner of the property let the planning permit for a 16-storey, 215-apartment building lapse in 2010.

Earlier this year the Grollo-run company Equiset turned down an opportunity to buy the property for a similar sum.

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