Mall deal sealed in Melbourne CBD despite lockdown


JP Morgan and Vantage declined to comment. CBRE’s Simon Rooney, who negotiated the deal, could not be reached before publication.

The sale comes off the back of another significant retail property deal in the centre of Melbourne’s CBD, and flies in the face of the city’s tough restrictions that saw Melbourne in lockdown since March and the property market largely go into hibernation.

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In July, Melbourne fund manager Newmark Capital sealed its $121 million acquisition of the six-storey historic David Jones menswear store on Bourke Street Mall with plans to refurbish not just the retail levels but also the office floors above, which had been used by the retailer to store stock and for staff amenities.

The deal reflected a 20 per cent discount to the $150 million pre-pandemic price expectations when David Jones owner, Johannesburg-listed Woolworths Holdings, put the property on the market in November.

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Plans to sell the other Melbourne CBD David Jones store, which was being offloaded by South African-based owner Woolworths Holdings Limited for between $200 million and $300 million, together with the newly-refurbished Elizabeth Street store in Sydney, is understood to have been put on ice with until next year, while the store remains closed.

AsheMorgan, Scentre Group and Precision Group are understood to be the frontrunners for the Sydney flagship store, which is expected to sell for between $400 million and $450 million.

Also on the market in the Melbourne CBD is the Louis Vuitton building – a Renaissance-style building built in the 1880s at the “Paris end” of Collins Street.

The four-storey building, which is owned by the wealthy Kearney family, is expected to sell for more than $50 million.

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