Council Buys Melbourne’s 6,500sq m Site For $76m

Melbourne City Council has become the proud new owners of the large landholdings site consisting of warehouse buildings and older-style low-rise retail shops in Melbourne’s CBD after a 104 year wait. The Council’s offer of $76 million was accepted and sold through an Expressions of Interest process even though there were at least four other offers above this price which came from overseas Asia-based groups.

This property, located at the corner of Therry and Queen Streets is directly opposite the Queen Victoria Market and was sold by Savills on behalf of a local private family. It comprises an enormous site measuring roughly 6,462 square metres and includes Capital City 1 zoning. This makes it the largest land sale in Melbourne’s CBD for 2014.

The site was first purchased for 19,000 pounds back in 1910 from McEwen’s Hardware Co. by James A Munro to take advantage of the increased popularity of the motor car. Having obtained a licence to sell Clement-Bayard cars in Australia, he started to sell these at this site. Since then, the site has been retained by the family, with a few sales made for smaller parts of the site which include McDonalds on Elizabeth Street that was built in 1989.

It was actually Melbourne City Council in 1910 that was the under-bidder for the site, who bid 15,000 pounds, but it has been questioned by real estate experts whether they paid as much as $20 million too much for the site.

Clinton Baxter, a marketing agent who helped sell the property to the council said that, “we were inundated with interest from across Asia, and in particular Mainland China, but after significant consideration, the Vendor family elected to leave a legacy by selling to the City of Melbourne at a discount to higher bids. The family is keenly aware of its 104 year history at the site and decided that its future was best handled by the City of Melbourne.”

The site includes a massive 160 metres of main street frontage right across from the renowned Queen Victoria Market and offers a wealth of potential for the future, which includes development potential that is unrivalled and can no longer be found within the CBD.

The Council has released development guidelines for the site which includes the restoration of the Mercat Cross Hotel, a walkway connecting Franklin and Therry Streets as well as a brand new 400-space car park.
Published on 21st of October 2014 by Marty Stanowich
Marty Stanowich
Marty Stanowich

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