Owner-Occupier Buys Ultra-Versatile Opportunity On The Cusp of Melbourne’s CBD

Posted on 02nd February 2022

FIT4365 163 171 Clarendon Street Southbank 0985 V4

One of the most versatile commercial sites on the cusp of Melbourne’s CBD has sold for $8.05 million to a local owner-occupier looking for a new office headquarters.

Fitzroys’ Chris James and Rob Harrington sold the high-profile property at 163-171 Clarendon Street, on the corner of Market Street, on behalf of a private vendor. The sale price represented a building rate of $8,164 per sqm and land rate of $13,400 per sqm on the developable area.

The 657sqm corner site has a two-level 986sqm commercial building ready for occupation and 10 on-site car parks, while the site’s Commercial 1 zoning and position within the South Melbourne Central Activity Centre zone offered incredible development opportunities in a heavily active commercial and lifestyle precinct.

James said the property attracted 75 enquiries from a mix of predominantly owner-occupiers and developers looking to get into a prime city fringe location, with a number of bidders looking to reposition the building.

“Owner-occupiers were looking at the site for a new headquarters, keen to take the incredibly rare chance to acquire their own premises on the edge of the CBD and in a thriving location offering some of Melbourne’s best lifestyle amenity,” he said.

The property is moments away from the eateries and hotels of the Clarendon Street lifestyle precinct, the South Melbourne Market, and South Melbourne Central shopping centre.

“Highly accessible inner-city locations with quality hospitality and lifestyle offerings are in vogue as workers want to be closer to their offices in a time of flexible working arrangements,” James said.

“They offer an attractive work and lifestyle balance and allow easy access to the workplace and in-person collaboration with colleagues.”

James noted the on-site parking was another drawcard for businesses, with many workers preferring to drive to work in the current COVID environment.

Harrington said South Melbourne is attracting the attention of developers, investors and owner-occupiers alike as more businesses seek city fringe and inner-suburban locations.

Hickory’s brand-new Market Lane office building is immediately next door and a new mixed-use development is set for the Just Tools site across the road, while other new office developments close by in South Melbourne such as Market Place and Deague Group’s 101 Moray Street, as well as Fortis’s multiple current projects represent the location’s evolution into a commercial and lifestyle hub.

Harrington said the high land rate on the developable area was similar to those seen in the booming city fringe markets of Richmond and Cremorne.

“South Melbourne and Southbank are expected to attract more office activity given the multitude of developments across the CBD and city fringe, including the adjacent Fishermans Bend urban renewal precinct that will boost the immediate population for years to come,” Harrington said.

He added that said there were interested investors in the 163-171 Clarendon Street site who noted the value-add and land banking potential of the site, given the projected growth of South Melbourne, Southbank and Fishermans Bend, and the property’s ideal positioning to capitalise on demand from businesses in the COVID environment.