Deals: Balmain’s Exchange Hotel on market again

The historic Balmain Hotel.
The historic Balmain Hotel.

Balmain’s heritage listed Exchange Hotel is looking for a new owner again, a year after it was last listed for sale.

The iconic hotel, built in 1885 just 6km west of Sydney’s CBD, was to be auctioned in July last year but is now being sold via an expressions of interest campaign through Colliers International’s and Miron Solomons and Vince Kernahan.

The 640sqm site now comprises the popular Beattie Bar, bistro, balcony bar, a cafe, new bar Oliver’s Corner, as well as function rooms and other spaces.

The Exchange Hotel was built in 1885.

The Exchange Hotel was built in 1885.

Solomon says freehold opportunities in tightly-held Balmain are becoming increasingly rare, with the Exchange offering the potential for a mixed-use conversion, subject to council approval.

“Freeholds in Sydney’s tightly inner west and peninsula suburbs are in huge demand from creative HQ/uses looking to strategically positioning themselves outside the CBD,”

“The government’s compulsory acquisitions of assets in the CBD have also compounded pressure on demand and supply.”

The expressions of interest campaign ends on August 11.

Melbourne: Donut deal puts icing on Swan St lease

Donut purveyor Doughnut Time will open its newest outlet in Richmond after paying 36% above the asking lease price for a Swan St retail store.

Stiff competition between a number of potential tenants saw the price for 174 Swan St swell from an initial asking rental of $55,000 per annum to $75,000 per annum.

Doughnut Time has leased a shop on Swan St in Richmond.

Doughnut Time has leased a shop on Swan St in Richmond.

Teska Carson’s Fergus Evans brokered the deal for the 175sqm shop.

“There is no doubt the Swan Street strip is fast becoming a hot strip for national food retailers,” Evans says.

“We had the property on the market for just two weeks and were inundated with requests for inspections and in the end competition from eight parties, including several national retailers, saw the rental achieve a 36% premium on the asking rental.”

South Australia: Almond orchard fetches $1.3 million

A local almond grower saw off interest from investors trying to enter the lucrative nut market to secure a South Australian orchard for $1.3 million.

The 36.48ha property at Cooltong, near Renmark in the state’s Riverland region, attracted local buyers seeking to expand their operations, as well as private investors looking to break into the industry, according to selling agent Jesse Manuel from Colliers International.

The almond plantings in South Australia's Riverland region.

The almond plantings in South Australia’s Riverland region.

“This small scale commercial almond orchard represented an excellent opportunity for existing almond producers to add to their holdings or for other nut or horticultural producers to add product and market diversity to their business,” Manuel says.

“It also appealed to investors seeking exposure to the agribusiness sector in an industry which is currently experiencing strong prices for its product.”

The farm includes 25.87ha of almond plantings and further plantable land.

Melbourne: Kensington property delivers double deal

An Melbourne investor secured two properties for the price of one by snapping up a Kensington shop and upstairs residence for $1.225 million.

Interest from four bidders at auction saw the two-storey property at 513 Macaulay Rd in Melbourne’s inner north-west sell for $125,000 above its reserve.

The property, offered with vacant possession, comprises a shop and dwelling spread over 136sqm on a 103sqm site, with secondary access via a rear laneway.

A shop and dwelling in Kensington sold for more than $1.2 million.

A shop and dwelling in Kensington sold for more than $1.2 million.

Anthony Choi and Fergus Evans from Teska Carson marketed the building, which has the potential to be split into two separate tenancies.

“This was a property located in a tightly-held strip with a low vacancy rate in an area earmarked for intensive urban revitalization under the Arden-Macaulay structure plan,” Choi says.

“Add the CBD fringe location and you have a property which is going to tick most boxes for savvy investors.”

Sydney: $40 million for Mercure Parramatta

A private Asian investor has bought the four-star Mercure Parramatta hotel.

The 165-room hotel on the edge of the Parramatta CBD was sold for $40 million in a deal negotiated by CBRE Hotels director Andrew Jackson.

The Mercure sits on almost 5000sqm of freehold land, marking it for potential expansion or redevelopment, while Jackson says the hotel presented as an enticing investment.

Parramatta's Mercure hotel has sold for $40 million.

Parramatta’s Mercure hotel has sold for $40 million.

“The hotel’s profitability is expected to continue to grow over the coming years as management makes further improvements to the existing cost structures and recent refurbishment works enable the operator to drive room rates and occupancy levels,” he says.

The hotel is managed by Accor and will operate under the Mercure brand under an agreement that will run until at least 2021.

JLL to oversee DFAT, AFP portfolios

Property services agency JLL has been reappointed to manage the Australian Federal Police’s property portfolio, while also taking over the management of more than 1000 Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade buildings across 80 countries.

Under the AFP contract, JLL will manage more than 200 of the body’s domestic and international properties for the next four years, having already overseen the portfolio since 2007.

JLL will also manage DFAT’s properties for the next five years, taking over a portfolio that comprises 95 missions and more than 1000 properties, including Australia’s overseas embassies, Australia House in London and a string of other chanceries and staff residences.

JLL’s CEO, Corporate Solutions, Asia Pacific, Jordi Martin says the new contract

“The preparation work has been significant and comprehensive to transition and deliver services without impacting on business operations,” Martin says.

“Over 150 JLL staff have been in some way involved in this complex logistical transition around the globe, showing we can mobilise globally to ensure excellence in service delivery.”