Cremorne: Bryant & May Redheads building owned by Alan Hamilton to snare $80m

560 Church St, Richmond - for herald sun real estate

560 Church St, Cremorne, is expected to exceed $80m.

A historic Cremorne property once part of the factory behind Redheads matches, and now owned by Porsche racing identity Alan Hamilton, is tipped to top $80m in an upcoming sale.

Expected to become the suburb’s second priciest property, behind a $92.525m office complex sold in 2019, the 560 Church St address has a handful of heritage protections. But it could host a hotel or office building that stretches about 50m tall.

Built in 1909, it was originally a part of the Bryant & May matchstick factory, where brands including the popular Redheads variety were made until international imports forced the factory’s closure in the 1980s.

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Redheads are now made in Sweden.

Hamilton Porsche founder Norman Hamilton bought close to half the original factory’s property in the 1980s and sold the luxury cars from there.

His son, Alan, took on the family business alongside a successful racing career, placing second in the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1969 and winning the Australian Sports Car Championship in 1977.

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Alan Hamilton winning the 1977 Australian Sports Car Championship in his Porsche Turbo 934 racing car.

Mr Hamilton said the property had been perfect for his Porsche dealership due to its central high profile location.

“It’s been amazing to watch the area transform over the years into what it is today and although still emotionally connected to the site I recognize its time for its next chapter which I hope is a development befitting of the address,” he said.

While the neighbouring property retains a number of iconic aspects of the former matchstick factory, including its clock tower, the Bryant & May site was also famed for providing bowling greens and gardens as well as men’s and women’s clubrooms for its employees.

Electricity and gas providers Red Energy currently occupy the second half of the site at 570 Church St, with much of that building’s original character and heritage kept intact.

This includes a tennis court that was provided for matchstick factory workers to use.

Heritage protected aspects of 560 Church St include a historic chimney, the Bryant & May Hall dining room, and a two-level building along Church St.

560 Church St, Richmond - for herald sun real estate

The more than 9700sq m property was once part of a site twice as large.

Dawkins Occhiuto director Andrew Dawkins said the Church St property was being sold for its development potential.

“It will either be someone land banking it, or someone with more imminent plans,” Mr Dawkins said.

“We do see this as a multistage development and capable of several towers.”

A Rothelowman development concept for the property indicates vertical improvements could span between 12 and 16 storeys, depending on the required floor heights, with a 500-carpark basement.

560 Church St, Richmond - for herald sun real estate

The two level building at the front corner of the property is heritage protected.

The zoning at 560 Church St would permit office towers and potentially a hotel, with a 198-room hotel, 12-storey development approved by VCAT nearby at 587-593 Church St earlier this year.

Tenants at the property include Nick Scali furniture and a Fitness First gym and it is returning $2.4m in net rent a year. But Mr Dawkins said key tenancies could be renegotiated at a higher rate in the coming years.

The 9715sq m property is one of the largest development sites to hit the market in Melbourne this year.

Undated: Matches at Bryant & May, Melbourne, 1939.

Matches being produced at the Bryant & May factory, Melbourne, 1939.

Last month, Melbourne’s wealthy Jreissati family sold a 1.69ha warehouse and office complex in Port Melbourne for $81.6m.

Expressions of interest for the Cremorne property close on November 11.

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