David Jones’ Bourke St menswear store officially on the market

David Jones’ flagship menswear store at 299 Bourke St, Melbourne has hit the market.
David Jones’ flagship menswear store at 299 Bourke St, Melbourne has hit the market.

David Jones has officially listed one of its flagship Bourke St Mall stores, with price expectations in excess of $150 million.

The up-market department chain announced last month it planned to sell the 299 Bourke St site of its menswear store, after 33 years of ownership.

Buyers from across the globe are expected to circle the seven-storey property now it’s formally up for grabs, being one of only a handful of major Bourke St Mall offerings to hit the market in the past decade.

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CBRE director of investments Mark Wizel says the building will be offloaded with a short-term lease that will see it continue to be occupied by David Jones for at least 18 months, and as long as three years, after settlement.

From there, he expects the “special piece of real estate” to undergo an “upgrade in the order of 10s of millions of dollars”, or even be expanded upwards.

The heritage property — built as Coles’ flagship store between 1929 and 1938 — would be suitable for retail, office or residential uses, or could even be developed into a hotel.

Wizel says any retail spaces will likely become home to international retailers, given the dominance of stores like Zara and H&M in the mall in recent times.

David Jones has owned the 299 Bourke St property since 1986. Picture: Mark Stewart

“It doesn’t get much better than the Bourke St Mall,” the agent — who has the listing with CBRE’s Simon Rooney and JACX Property’s Michael Jackson — says.

“So many Melburnians have got an affinity with DJs. (This) is an opportunity to find the next custodian of the place.”

David Jones retail director Aaron Faraguna said the building’s sale would allow the department chain to “focus on the further refurbishment and optimisation” of its larger 310 Bourke St store — currently its flagship womenswear site.

“This will see us deliver all our categories … under one roof for customers,” he said.

David Jones previously said it planned to find new roles at its 310 Bourke St store, or potentially across sister business Country Road Group, for staff displaced by No. 299’s closure.

The outgoing store sits on more than 2200sq m of land with frontages on both Bourke and Little Collins Sts, and is currently fully occupied by David Jones’ clothing and food offerings.

In 2016, the Myer family offloaded its remaining one-third stake in its Bourke St store to funds manager TH Real Estate for more than $151 million.

And a gold rush-era Bourke St Mall building housing Swarovski and Windsor Smith fetched $47 million in its first sale in 60 years in 2018, to a Malaysia-based family.

This article from the Herald Sun originally appeared as “David Jones lists flagship Bourke St Mall menswear store”.