Chinese developer Holder East has paid about $25 million for a car park in West Melbourne near Cbus’ new police headquarters site.
The 1877 square metre site was billed as the first car park deal for 2017, but the property at 496-508 La Trobe Street is effectively a development site, held by Indonesian syndicate Regent Realty Australia for the past 15 years.
Colliers International agents David Sia, who negotiated the deal with Daniel Wolman, Oliver Hay and Matt Stagg, said the vendor had no plans to develop the unpermitted site, which is on the border of West Melbourne and the CBD.
“They saw the rising land tax bills and fear of over-supply as reasons to part ways with the asset,” Mr Sia said.
“Given the size of the site, it’s a strong indication of the strength of the market for land, achieving about $13,000 a square metre which represents the top end of land rates for this precinct,” he said.
The property was purchased in 2002 for $2.9 million. Some historic industrial buildings were demolished and permits for a residential project were issued but never executed. It is next door to the 1880s Spinks Tinsmiths Building at 488 La Trobe Street, where a16-storey apartment building has been proposed.
Thomson Geer partner Eu Ming Lim acted for the vendor. The purchaser has plans for a residential or office development, Mr Sia said. The site is close to the new Haileybury City campus and Far East Consortium’s massive West Side project.
The low-profile Holder East is an active trader in city property.
Late last year the developer bought 501-509 King Street for $6.02 million, one week ahead of its scheduled auction. The site adjoined another property at 511-525 King Street which Holder East had bought in 2014 for $10.05 million, giving the firm a 2000 square metre development site.
The company was cashed up after selling a 2000 square metre site at 97 Franklin Street to Scape Student Living for $56 million.
Meanwhile on the other side of the city, six parties including a major Chinese investor and some active Southbank players, are understood to be competing for a key site behind Crown Casino.
Prices offered for the three-storey building at 190-196 City Road are understood to be more than $20 million, a substantial premium on the price paid by Datacom, a New Zealand technology company, in 2005. Datacom bought the property for $7.15 million after it passed in at auction.
It is selling the property with a newly signed four-year lease in place with three three-year options.
The 4307 square metre building is on a 1597 square metre site surrounded by towers, which makes it an attractive future development target.
CBRE agent Josh Rutman, who is marketing the building with Lewis Tong and Mark Wizel, declined to comment on the deal.