Bell St icon Tempo Video reels in a winning bid from local business identity
The Coburg property where an iconic Italian video store operated for more than three decades has sold at auction to a Moreland businessman.
Tempo Video owner Anthony Alessi opened his 238 Bell St shop in 1985, renting and selling VHS tapes and DVDs to customers from across Melbourne.
However Mr Alessi, now 81, said he closed the business after 34 years as online streaming grew in popularity.
Raine & Horne Brunswick sales manager Pieter Speziale auctioned the store’s site, set on 202sq m in a commercial 1 zone, on Thursday.
Mr Speziale said the “iconic” former video shop “was sold to a local Moreland businessman of many years who is very established in the area”.
While Mr Speziale is not sure of the purchaser’s plans for the Tempo Video property, he said the auction began with a vendor’s bid of $660,000 and ended with a $720,000 sale.
“Two people contested it in an auction from start to finish and it sold under the hammer, which was a good result,” Mr Speziale said.
He said the auction was “emotional” for the Alessi family, who were “rapt” with the sold price.
The former video store has two bedrooms/offices, a kitchen and bathroom with laundry facilities, a north-facing rear courtyard and one off-street car park in a garage.
Mr Speziale said Tempo Video held a special place in the hearts of many people in Melbourne’s Italian community, for providing them with a link back to their home country.
“I know people who would drive there from 20, 30km away and wouldn’t get just one video, they would rent six or seven videos,” he said.
Mr Alessi said he had loved meeting customers who came from as far afield as the southeast suburbs.
“My wife was very kind to customers and made a lot of friends, who would come to enjoy coffee in the back,” Mr Alessi said.
“We were happy to be there, for us the people who used to come to the shop were like family.”
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