Church Street Centrepiece Changes Hands After 23 Years

Posted on 03rd October 2019

Church Street, Brighton has reinforced its reputation as arguably Melbourne’s - and Australia’s - most prized shopping strip, as fierce competition between local, interstate and offshore investors for the NAB bank branch in the absolute prime section of the strip led to a $6.105 million auction sale.

Fitzroys agents Chris James and Mark Talbot sold 35 Church Street on behalf of private owners, who had held the site for 23 years.

A private Melbourne-based investor purchased the property.

On a 288sqm site, the property has an outstanding 8.5-metre high exposure frontage to Church Street. ASX-listed NAB has a long-term lease over the property, and the sale price reflected a sharp 3.5% yield.

“The property represented a generational chance to secure a retail investment in the absolute prime of a blue-ribbon shopping strip, which was reflected in the 100-plus enquiries received from around Australia and offshore,” James said.

“Astute investors are recognising that with recent cuts to the official interest rate, it is an ideal time to secure strong income-producing assets.

“Offshore buyers continue to be drawn to Australia’s safe-haven status. Church Street, Brighton consistently presents the strongest fundamentals for retail property investments, retaining its reputation as Melbourne’s best-performing suburban retail strip, and perhaps in Australia.”

The property is positioned within the most highly sought after and tightly held section of Church Street, between Carpenter and St Andrews Streets, which is currently experiencing a record low 0% retail vacancy.

Neighbouring tenants include a number of Australia’s leading high-end retailers in Country Road, Mecca, Scanlan Theodore, Seed Heritage, Bed Bath N Table, Sportscraft, Husk and Saba while the famous Dendy cinema complex is opposite.

Talbot said opportunities for investors to acquire a Church Street, Brighton asset are rare, let alone a double fronted freehold of this nature, and the depth of campaign enquiry and strong result reflected the tightly held nature of the strip, its constrained supply, and positioning within one of Melbourne’s most affluent and established consumer catchments.

“The immediate catchment has been bolstered with the introduction of medium-density residential developments in what is broadly a low-rise suburb, while the suburb is home to a number of highly sought after private schools,” he said.

“Church Street’s strong reputation and constrained supply will continue to see commercial property tightly held, with a long queue of retailers and operators always seeking space.”

Fitzroys sold the two-level, 110 sqm building home stationery company Smiggle, part of major retail player Solomon Lew’s ASX-listed Premier Investments, at 67 Church Street last year for $2.41 million, at a yield of 3.2%.