Heritage sites hot property this week
Heritage-listed and older-style properties across the country took out four of the top 10 spots on realcommercial.com.au’s most-viewed listings this week, proving the past is still a powerful drawcard.
Adelaide city’s Davaar House – built in 1876 for a prominent wine and spirit merchant – topped the list ahead of its auction on Wednesday 10 March.
The 145-year-old heritage-listed mansion has been through the ringer in recent years, with illegal works said to have caused damage, but it’s now back on the market with a price of $1.29 million.
Another heritage-style beauty, Campbell Point House, a luxury hotel and reception venue on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula, was the second-most popular.
Other listings offering a glimpse of history that were well-liked included a pretty medical centre in Melbourne’s St Kilda East, which was number one on the list last week, and a double-storey stunner on Fitzroy’s vibey Gertrude Street, also in the Victorian capital.
Nerida Conisbee, chief economist at REA Group, said three factors help drive interest in heritage-style properties online. Just as home owners love to comb realestate.com.au for fancy homes in faraway places, so too do commercial buyers, she said.
“Everyone loves looking at beautiful buildings, so I think that’s a factor, merely appreciating how lovely a property might look. But that leads into the second element, which is, for a particular demographic of developers, those looks matter for aesthetic and financial reasons.
“Those developers know a beautiful façade, often found with historical properties, will make a finished apartment project more desirable to buyers,” Ms Conisbee said. And that can drive profit if the work is done well.
Then there’s buyers wanting space to create offices, she said.
“Think about a cool little architecture firm or design house. They want something that’s not too big, that’s funky, that has an attractive façade, something they can really have fun with. An older building with character often ticks all these boxes.”
But buyers, as always, need to be smart.
Dr Shane Geha, managing director of Sydney-based EG Advisory and Urban Planning, and adjunct professor at the University of New South Wales, said understanding the zoning which applies to heritage-listed properties in particular is key.
“Zoning is a very important consideration. It could mean the difference between an easy upgrade or a difficult and costly upgrade. It affects the buyer’s ability to add storeys to the building, extend or even make significant structural or renovation changes.
“Often, you will have to maintain the original facade. These are very important value considerations for the future value of the land and property,” Dr Geha said.
Michael Burke, senior commercial property manager at Krulis Commercial, said getting across the applicable planning controls is equally vital.
“Before buying an older or heritage commercial property, the buyer should be well versed in the planning controls processes, the timelines involved and the consultants that will need to be engaged. These factors will most likely be far in excess to a standard residential purchase and potential upgrades are likely more costly,” he said.
Mr Burke said ongoing maintenance is something else to factor in, as replacing things such as plant and machinery and air conditioning systems can be more costly than in modern buildings.
“The purchase of older or heritage commercial buildings is not for the first-time buyer, however an astute purchaser who identifies the potential and location of these buildings can be amply rewarded,” he said.
Here are the top 10 most-viewed listings in Australia on realcommercial.com.au between 11 February and 17 February.
1. Adelaide, SA: Heritage-listed mansion
318 South Terrace, Adelaide
Topping the list of most-viewed properties is this absolute time capsule from the heart of Adelaide, which is being sold by auction next month with an asking price of $1.29 million.
The stunning 379sqm mansion, built in 1876, was home to the Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Association of South Australia – TPI locally – from 1950 to 2009, before it was acquired by a developer, who planned to turn it into a lobby for an apartment block behind.
But it’s now on the market again. While it clearly needs work, it’s a rare find.
2. Leopold, VIC: Slice of France
Campbell Point House, 199 Matthews Road, Leopold
In second place is the heritage-style Campbell Point House, a breathtaking hotel and reception venue on Lake Connewarre, expected to fetch from $16 million to $18 million.
A dual listing is targeting interest in the exclusive 15-room accommodation venue as a hotel, where recent planning approvals provide the opportunity to offer gambling tables for high rollers, but also potential buyers looking for a luxury home in regional Victoria.
Taking design and presentation cues from many European examples, the property includes 149,200sqm of landscaped land.
3. Adelaide, SA: Office and slick apartment
17 Beulah Road, Norwood
While it’s far from being heritage, this modern property in historic Norwood still offers something compelling; office space on the ground floor and a stylish two-bedroom apartment upstairs.
The listing, which hit the market just a few days ago, has 230sqm of flexible office and store space on the ground floor and 180sqm of living above, complete with a generous covered balcony, offering a flexible work/life opportunity. It also has rear access and secure parking.
McGees Property will auction the property on Thursday 18 March.
4. St Kilda East, VIC: Medical clinic
338 Dandenong Road, St Kilda East
Last week’s top-rated listing, this 216sqm medical clinic, operating as a Marie Stopes International service, is in a desirable Melbourne location and has a short-term lease in place.
It has a historical façade, quality existing fit-out, generous 438sqm landholding, rear lane access and onsite parking for three cars. The current 12-month lease offers cashflow during any post-purchase planning and application processes.
Offers for the property, which is expected to fetch a sale price in the high $1 millions, close on Wednesday 3 March.
5. Fitzroy, VIC: Funky shop/home
247 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
This double-storey shop and three-bedroom dwelling on one of Melbourne’s most tightly held and popular retail strips, Gertrude Street, is expected to go for somewhere between $1.2 million and $1.3 million.
A flexible commercial 1 zoning means the site, which has 100sqm of floor area, can cater to a multitude of uses, subject to council approval.
Located close to cafes, galleries and trendy retail, the property has six principal rooms and scope to add value.
6. Townsville, QLD: Car dealer in pole location
515-593 Sturt Street, Townsville City
This 7590sqm property, home to Townsville’s Nissan dealership since 1970, has 161m of main road frontage and a lease in place.
It offers a net income of $600,000 per annum (plus GST, outgoings and increases) and the lease is locked in until 2024, with four more five-year options.
Surrounded by other major brands, the site has high exposure on a main road. Expressions of interest close on Wednesday 17 March.
7. Dargo, VIC: Historic high county inn
13 Lower Dargo Road, Dargo
The Dargo River Inn and Tourist Park, on the market for $995,000 (plus stock at valuation), includes a pub with beer garden, accommodation cabins, a renovated four-bedroom residence, 20 powered sites, 1.2 hectares of camping grounds and shedding.
Selling agent Matt Bayliss of King and Heath First National Bairnsdale described the freehold and business as offering an “exceptional lifestyle business opportunity in one of Victoria’s iconic high country townships”.
The inn and tourist park, which dates back to the early 1990s, sits on 2.43 picturesque hectares.
8. Kurralta Park, SA: Sleek warehouse and space
8/41 Mortimer Street, Kurralta Park
This versatile warehouse and office space is being pitched as “an ideal price point entry” into a great Adelaide location.
The modern 152sqm building has just been renovated and includes a full kitchen, bathroom, ducted heating and cooling, alarms and security cameras.
It offers a number of configurations because of its flexible design. There’s scope to make the warehouse larger and for offices to be closed off if required. It’s on the market for offers over $375,000.
9. Richmond, SA: Well-located, affordable office
2 Bartholomew Street, Richmond
On the market for $495,000 to $540,000, this property has one building with four offices, a kitchen, bathroom and two utility rooms, as well as a number of outbuildings.
Located in a popular fringe city commercial precinct, the entire allotment is approximately 690sqm, with a street frontage of 17.98m.
There’s two off-street car parks at the front of the home-turned-office and ample room for more parking at the rear.
10. Richmond, VIC: Swan St beauty
558-562 Swan Street, Richmond
Being sold by expression of interest, this architecturally designed, standalone property has a whopping 27.52m of Swan Street frontage and 1115sqm of space inside.
It’s described as having a “highly functional layout, providing quality contemporary office/studio, large showroom and storage”. The mixed-use freehold sits on 566sqm and is zoned commercial 2.
It has a separate elevated four-bedroom apartment, complete with 360-degree views and an outdoor deck, designated loading bay and secure undercover parking for nine cars.