Sale signals new lease on life for historic Melbourne Maltstore


Leading real estate company Grocon has sold the heritage listed Maltstore building in Melbourne’s CBD to a private investment syndicate from Singapore.

CBRE Melbourne City Sales agents Josh Rutman, Tom Tuxworth and Mark Wizel negotiated the sale of the 551 Swanston Street office and retail property, which forms part of the mixed-use Swanston Square precinct on the former Carlton and United Brewery site. While the price has not been disclosed due to confidentiality agreements, Mr Tuxworth said the deal represented the largest ever sale of a vacant freestanding strata building in Melbourne.

“The sale campaign presented an opportunity to acquire an iconic Melbourne building, which has been transformed into a state-of-the-art retail and office complex,” Mr Tuxworth said “We were delighted with the market’s response to the international sales campaign and the genuine appetite being shown to invest in properties in the northern CBD area and surrounding education precinct.”

CBRE’s Josh Rutman said investors have been starved of opportunities in the sub $30 million Melbourne CBD investment market in 2014/2015. “Whilst the Maltstore presented some challenges given its restrictive heritage status and strata-titled nature, the opportunity to effectively own a freestanding building between RMIT and Melbourne University was something that appealed to a range of local and offshore groups,” Mr Rutman said.

Grocon, together with top-tier builder Probuild, recently fully restored the 100-year-old Maltstore to feature quality finishes and modern building services. After receiving numerous approaches from retail and office tenants for the space, it is understood that the buyer intends to lease out the five level building – and hold it for the longer term.

“Since the redevelopment of the CUB site, the Maltstore now acts as the “front door” to the first phase of the Swanston Square development, which includes 536 apartments and specialty retail,” Mr Rutman said. “The main entry of the building is filled with illustrations detailing the rich history of the site, including the development of the beer industry in Victoria.”

The property features 2,224sqm of upper level office space where the existing building fabric has been incorporated via the use of exposed brickwork walls and steel and timber framing. The design has also retained some of the original reinforced concrete silos or malt tanks, which were the first of their type to be constructed in the Southern Hemisphere. Two of the three tanks have been repurposed as meeting rooms, with the other having been retained in its original state – providing a physical link with the history and purpose of the building to store malt for use in the beer making process. The building’s 752sqm ground floor has been designed for retail/food and beverage use, with the refurbishment having also provided for exclusive end of trip facilities as well as 20 secure car parks.

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