Hoddle St car dealership sold to Malaysian developer

21-53 Hoddle St, Collingwood has been sold for an eye-watering $43 million.
21-53 Hoddle St, Collingwood has been sold for an eye-watering $43 million.

A Malaysian developer has splashed $43 million to buy out a prominent Melbourne car dealership with plans to turn it into an apartment tower.

Currently the home to Melbourne businessman Tony Jowett’s Honda, Nissan and Hyundai dealership, 21-53 Hoddle St, Collingwood, sold earlier this month in a deal with UEM Sunrise Berhad.

The international developer has flagged it is still looking closely at the city thanks to Australia’s response to COVID-19.

The Malaysian group recently finished building Melbourne’s third-tallest tower, the $800 million Aurora Melbourne Central tower, which stands more than 270m tall in the CBD.

Managing director and chief executive Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib says the firm had been impressed with Australia’s handling of COVID-19, strengthening their resolve to invest here.

“We’ve been impressed with the federal and state governments’ swift decision making and efforts to protect the health of the Australian population, along with the measures implemented to try to keep the economy moving,” Syahrin says.

“In particular, we think the government’s support of shovel-ready projects and the acceleration of development approvals to encourage activities in the construction sector has been commendable.”

He flagged plans to create a combination of residential and commercial spaces at the site.

UEM Sunrise have spent about $1.2 billion in Australia to date.

UEM Sunrise managing director and chief executive Anwar Syahrin.

Syahrin says they are “well prepared to capitalise on more opportunities”.

“We still see a lot of potential,” he says.

Colliers International’s Oliver Hay and Peter Bremner worked on the deal with ICR Property Group’s Raff De Luise.

Hay said there had been a lift in confidence for well-placed commercial properties from $10 million to $300 million around the city in the past three weeks.

“Be it Singapore, Malaysia or Hong Kong, it’s more of the experienced players who have been around and invested in Melbourne for many years,” he says.

The prominent site fronts Hoddle St and is zoned commercial one, allowing for future development.

“At this level ($43-million) and above there is quite a bit of off-market activity.”

Bremner says it has been pleasing to see the sale occurred at the originally agreed price, despite the due diligence period commencing early in the COVID-19 pandemic and only concluding recently.

A prior attempt to sell the site on the market last year had it listed with the hopes of topping $40 million.

This article from the Herald Sun originally appeared as “Tony Jowett’s Hoddle St car dealership sells to developer”.