Macquarie St building a joy to behold
A GORGEOUS six-storey Neo-Gothic sandstone building in the centre of Hobart — with a two-level penthouse and a 350sq m private rooftop garden — has drawn worldwide acclaim on hitting the market.
No.119 Macquarie Street has caught the eye of local, interstate and overseas buyers, according to Knight Frank commercial sales and leasing representative Hayden Peck.
“The level of inquiry has been through the roof, 60-plus and counting,” he said.
“I’d compare this building to a Bentley. It is so beautiful and intricate, and you could never build it again.
“Even if you could find someone with the skills to build it now, the cost would be astronomical. The building is effectively irreplaceable.”
The building was designed by noted Hobart-born architect Alan Cameron Walker.
Walker was born in 1865 and apprenticed under lauded Tasmanian architect Henry Hunter.
Alongside No.119 Macquarie Street, known as the National Mutual Life Building, Walker is known for designing the former state library Carnegie Building, Hobart’s General Post Office and tower, the Springs Hotel (which was destroyed in the 1967 Black Tuesday fires) and Werndee, the home of three-time Premier of Tasmania Sir Neil Elliott Lewis.
Aptly described as a “true trophy asset”, Mr Peck said the building had not been on the market for 20 years.
He said the building’s owners had recently moved out of the penthouse ahead of the sale.
“The fact that it features a 560sq m penthouse is bound to intrigue people,” he said.
“Most people would drive past without realising one of if not the largest penthouse in Tasmania is sitting there.
“It is currently a three-bedroom home, but it could easily be five.
“The open-plan living area is about as large as most people’s whole house.
“And it has lift access and that terrific deck with views over Franklin Square, towards the river and mountain.”
Mr Peck said there was nothing on the market that compared to the National Mutual Life Building.
“Handcrafting the facade from stone in 1906, it was built to be a showpiece,” he said.
He said interstate and overseas buyers seemed to be taking a serious look at Tasmanian assets compared to what the market could generate a few years ago.
“There appears to be a strong desire for high net worth investors to buy a trophy asset in Tasmania,” Mr Peck said.
“People are prepared to look at a more compressed yield now because they are confident Tasmania is going in the right direction.”
The 2459sq m building is currently leased to nine commercial tenants — lawyers, solicitors, engineers, CCYP and financial planners among them — and the building has boasted near 100 per cent occupancy over last decade. It attracts an estimated net income in the hundreds of thousands annually.
No.119 Macquarie Street, Hobart is listed with Knight Frank and will be sold via expressions of interest closing on May 6 at 4pm.