Former Porteno restaurant, reborn as AJE fashion headquarters, for auction with $13m price guide

The former burnt-out Surry Hills home of Porteno restaurant, which is now the headquarters for AJE designer women’s clothing, is going up for auction with a $13m price guide.

The impressive two-level building at 532 Riley St, which fronts Cleveland St, has been completely refurbished in a fit-out by Those Architects of Byron Bay since the fire in January, 2015.

The roof was sliced open and a glass atrium inserted.

Sleek interiors.

About 20 staff members and two customers had fled the Argentinean eatery at about 5pm on a Friday night after the fire broke out in the exhaust system above the barbecue pit.

But after the $2.5m overhaul, the restaurant has been repurposed as a beautiful office for a very fashionable tenant and its investor owner, Milligan Group, have now listed it for November 23 auction via IB Property director Shane Blackett and Tom Speakman of Mercer Property.

Beautiful workspaces.

Intimate meeting places.

Elegant meeting rooms.


House doubles in value in two years

Redfern house price record smashed

They already have good interest in the property, which has been nominated for numerous awards.

It was one of only two Australian workspaces to make it into this year’s global Dezeen Awards.

The judges were drawn to the refurbishment’s “careful removal of layers, the slicing open of the roof and insertion of the glass atrium, to the overlaying of natural materials”.

Fire rips through Porteno in January 2015.


Firefighter at the scene. Photo: Bob Barker.

It was also short-listed for the Australian Interior Design Awards and the Idea Awards, plus featured in Belle magazine and on

There are five years remaining in AJE’s six-year lease.

The property offers purchasers the opportunity to buy a well-leased freehold investment in one of Sydney’s most tightly held city fringe destinations.

The area is changing dramatically, with Toga Group’s redevelopment of the old Surry Hills Village shopping centre nearby into 111 new apartments, a boutique hotel and shopping centre now underway.

532 Riley St, Surry Hills.

The charming fascade.

A terrace house in Young St, Redfern, across the road, sold off-market for $4.5m last week via Charles Touma of Ray White Touma Group.

The Riley St property offers 760sqm of space.