Burnley maltings: Barrett & Co Maltings site for sale at $15m+ after failed development bid by Frank Costa firm
A historic maltings factory that looks across the Yarra River to one of Melbourne’s most illustrious neighbourhoods has been listed for $15m-plus.
The 45 Gibdon St, Burnley, property’s owners, including the estate of the late Frank Costa, could make a $3m gain in four years on the heritage-protected site, which is complete with grain silos and a maltings house — despite a failed attempt to develop it.
The group bought the Barrett Burston Maltings Burnley property for $12m in 2018 in an off-market deal that marked its first transaction since it was established in the late 1800s for Terry’s Burnley Brewery.
It later became the Barrett & Burston Maltings and a sister site to the firm’s nearby operations at the former Richmond Maltings, famous for the Nylex clock atop its silos.
Barrett & Burston continued to operate from the 45 Gibdon St property until three years ago.
The grain silos and building facades on both Gibdon St and the Monash Freeway are heritage protected.
Despite this, an application for an eight-storey development at the site went to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in 2019. The proposal, in the name of Burnley Maltings Pty Ltd, part owned by Mr Costa, was rejected last year.
Colliers listing agent Peter Bremner handled the previous sale and is selling it again today.
He noted they were advising prospective buyers there was a three-storey cap on the site for residential development, though there was precedent for higher build-to-rent and aged-care projects.
“The vendors have got the property and applied for a higher density outcome,” Mr Bremner said.
“They could do a lower density themselves, but they think there are people out there who may achieve a better outcome and might pay more for that chance.”
The 2019 development application angered locals with its height.
Documents tendered to VCAT indicate that vision would have cost $27.5m to realise and would have included partial demolitions of some buildings on the site, and transformed the silos into a mix of units and infrastructure including lifts.
A 119sq m residence would have topped the cylinders prominently visible from the Monash Freeway.
Two additional buildings at the site would have also stood eight storeys tall, with a mix of two, three and four-bedroom apartments inside them, with a range of three-level townhouses rounding out the site.
The property’s 3568sq m size, extensive view lines and proximity to the CBD are all being flagged as likely to attract an apartment, townhouse or aged-care project, though Mr Bremner said they aren’t ruling out a gallery or medical facility.
“We only launched it on Tuesday and we have had over 80 inquiries on it,” Mr Bremner said.
“It’s probably the biggest title that’s undeveloped in Burnley. And it is pretty high up, so even if you go up one level you see the CBD skyline. And you get good views in all directions.”
That includes across the Yarra River to some of Melbourne’s most illustrious mansions along Alexandra Parade, South Yarra, and St Georges Rd, Toorak.
Mr Bremner said while hard to find comparable properties, there had been a $14.425m sale for a commercially zoned property at 180-182 Stawell St, Burnley, in May.
The property is being sold in conjunction with Joe Catanese at Real Properties.
Mr Catanese said inquiries to date had been beyond expectations, with over 100 parties contacting agents in the first few weeks of the sale.
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