Developers position to shape famous Melbourne arts, entertainment precinct

Developers position to shape famous Melbourne arts, entertainment precinct

April 2017
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Developers position to shape famous Melbourne arts, entertainment precinct

A substantial landholding in Melbourne’s world-class arts and entertainment precinct is expected to captivate the imagination of international developers when it comes to market this week.

The 4176sqm site at 268 Sturt Street, Southbank, represents a one-of-a-kind mixed-use opportunity with several permissible uses, including residential, hotel, serviced apartment, office or showroom. 

Colliers International’s Trent Hobart, Bryson Cameron and Brett Griffith have been appointed to market the opportunity by Charter Keck Cramer, on behalf of the University of Melbourne, via expressions of interest closing Friday, May 5 at 3pm.

“This is a genuinely rare opportunity to develop a significant gateway site in one of Melbourne’s most desirable, residential owner-occupier locations,” Mr Hobart said. 

The University of Melbourne owns the site and until now, it has predominantly been utilised as an open-air car park. 

University of Melbourne’s director of campus strategy Long Nguyen the university had deemed the site to be surplus to its current needs and would use the proceeds from the sale to help fund future projects.

“After assessing our current portfolio and project pipeline, along with the buoyancy of the current development market, we determined that the capital value of this asset could be strategically reallocated into future projects,” Mr Nguyen said.

Mr Griffith said Colliers International expected the offering to be well received.

“One thing we are always very congnisant of is future view lines for any development site, and the view lines for this project will be second to none, with no obstruction back across the Melbourne CBD sklyline,” he said.

Mr Cameron said Australia was continuing to experience incredible population growth, with Victoria leading the country, growing by 2.1 per cent or about 125,000 people in the year to September 2016. 

“The majority of this growth is centered in Melbourne and continues to drive strong purchaser and rental demand, especially in exceptional locaitons like this,” he said. 

Mr Hobart said Sturt Street was the spine of Melbourne’s arts, culture and entertainment precinct, and number 268 Sturt Street represented the gateway.

“The site is bordered to the south by half a hectare of pristine parkland at the intersection of Sturt Street and Kings Way, and to the north by the longstanding Melbourne Theatre Company,” he said. “Given its location, the site is walkable to many of Melbourne’s attractions, whilst trams at the frontage provide convenient access to the best amenity the city has to offer.”

Mr Cameron said the “healthy” scale and position of the site opened up a vast array of development options and future uses that could afford developers with increased residential design flexibility.

“There is also potential for large commercial floor plates, along with incredible visibility and exposure given its prominent position,” he said. “Moreover, being located directly next to Sturt Street Reserve, there are possible exciting integration opportunities for the future uses.” 

The property has been on the radar of the City of Melbourne and the state government for some time, with both earmarking it for a future, strategic development. The government’s Melbourne Arts Precinct Blueprint describes 268 Sturt Street as “a landmark site that punctuates the Sturt Street south intersection with Kings Way as a major entry point to the arts precinct.” 

With frontage to Sturt Street Reserve and high visibility from Kings Way, the property is in the heart of the arts precinct and is surrounded by several iconic institutions, including the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne Recital Centre, Victorian College of the Arts and Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.

“Future occupants will be spoilt for choice when it comes to world-class dining and retail amenity, with Southbank Boulevard, the Crown entertainment complex, Royal Botanic Gardens and South Melbourne Market all within a short walk, making for an ultra-convenient lifestyle,” Mr. Hobart said.

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