Port Melbourne: Historic beachfront building nets owners$260k bonus
A 123-year-old Port Melbourne beachfront building with a sweet past, believed to be the last of its kind within the Port Philip Council area, has sold for $4.76m.
The double-storey structure at 10 Beach St is believed to be the only remaining freestanding office building located directly opposite the beach within the Port Phillip municipality.
A City of Port Phillip heritage review classified the site as locally significant due to its past as part of a large 19th century Melbourne industrial complex, the former Australasian Sugar Refining Company constructed circa-1890s.
The refinery closed after being purchased by Colonial Sugar Refining Company as part of a move to strengthen its monopoly and later became the Robert Harper starch factory complex.
In 1991, the Australian Property Institute purchased the offices for $723,000.
The API put the property up for auction earlier this month due it requiring a major renovation.
Colliers’ Melbourne city sales associate director, Anthony Kirwan, said 70 people attended the auction in addition to 14 online viewers.
Out of five registered bidders, two buyers battled for the building’s keys.
The Eleet real estate agency’s s founder and managing director Saahil Gupta and chief executive Vikas Kalra purchased the building to use as an office.
“I think they have plans to put in a rooftop area and bar for clients,” Mr Kirwan said.
More than 130 groups inquired about the property prior to the auction.
Mr Kirwan said most were local but that a Sydney investor and Johannesburg-based value-add investor also expressed interest.
“I think beachfront properties in Melbourne are extremely tightly held,” Mr Kirwan said.
“We believe 10 Beach St to be the only freestanding beachfront office building within the City of Port Philip.”
The property includes a first-floor kitchen and four car parks.
Transaction adviser and WBP Group chairman Greville Pabst said the building was called on the market at $4.5m and ended up selling $260,000 over reserve.
“There were a couple of buyers looking for a home office and a couple of buyers who wanted it for a residence,” Mr Pabst said.
“Under the zoning (Mixed-Use Zoning), it could go up another two levels under zoning, it has the potential to be four levels.”
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