Former Melbourne cigar factory smokes out buyers
Once a thriving 19th century cigar factory and now a wig shop and nightclub, one of Melbourne’s most historic buildings has sold for more than $10 million.
The building at 8 Drewery Place in the CBD last changed hands almost 45 years ago and was once the home of Sniders & Abrahams, a cigar and cigarette manufacturer that took up residence there in the 1890s.
Sniders & Abrahams became famous for the collectable sporting cards that could be found in its cigarette packets, many of which are highly sought-after today and can fetch thousands of dollars at auction.
The sale of the building was the first time it had been sold since 1971, when the current owners are understood to have paid less than $200,000 for it.
CBRE’ s Josh Rutman, Mark Wizel, Paul Tzamalis and Tom Tuxworth negotiated the sale and auction of the five-storey property, which fetched $10.8 million on a tight 4% yield.
Situated on a prominent CBD corner and with three street frontages, 8 Drewery Place is home to a range of businesses, including a ground floor wig shop and the popular Baroq House nightclub.
The seven-day foot traffic, which is driven in large part by the expansion of RMIT, presents a terrific opportunity to transform and improve the building in years to come
Rutman says investors had swarmed the property as it was one of the only buildings in the area that hadn’t already been converted into residential apartments.
“Strong interest was received for the property from a range of local and offshore-based investors, with over 45 bids received from five parties at auction,” he says.
“This interest was underpinned by solid investor demand for well-located CBD freehold assets.”
Wizel says the building, which has 1500sqm of floor space, benefited from its position in the resurgent northern part of the CBD.
“The location within the northern precinct of the CBD has seen a remarkable transformation since the completion of the Emporium shopping centre,” Wizel says.
“The seven-day foot traffic, which is driven in large part by the expansion of RMIT, presents a terrific opportunity to transform and improve the building in years to come,” Wizel says.