Melbourne’s Louis Vuitton building set to hit market for $50m

The luxury listing is advertised for more than $50m.
The luxury listing is advertised for more than $50m.

A glamorous Collins Street landmark housing Louis Vuitton’s flagship Melbourne store is poised to hit the market this week.

The historic Paris-end building at No. 139, on the corner of Russell Street, will be listed with mammoth price expectations of more than $50m in the midst of Melbourne’s coronavirus lockdown.

The standout 1886 building is being sold on behalf of late barrister John Kearney and his wife Alison, who bought it for $16.2m in 2006.

The couple also owned other historic Melbourne buildings including The Block Arcade, which they sold for $80m in 2014.

139 Collins Street, Melbourne is for sale.

Colliers International Victorian chief executive John Marasco said they were expecting plenty of interest for the “wonderful building, which celebrates Melbourne’s history and heritage”.

“It’s got a great global tenant in the luxury brand Louis Vuitton … and it’s been really well kept,” Marasco told the Herald Sun.

“We anticipate the offering will be hotly contested and demonstrate the robustness of the Melbourne CBD market.”

The building when it hosted the Alexandra Club in 1956. Picture: Argus File Photo

The four-storey building, with 1661sq m of lettable space, has a 15-year lease with the fashion brand that expires in 2026. Other commercial and finance tenants occupy offices on the upper floors.

Marasco said he was confident that virtual tours, extensive building and legal reports, and other detailed material would help attract international buyers, who could not travel to Australia for an inspection because of border controls.

Selling agent Matt Stagg said the “trophy asset” could be collected by a major global retail investor.

“The Louis Vuitton boutique at 139 Collins Street is arguably the most coveted trophy asset in the Melbourne CBD,” Stagg said.

The store operating under coronavirus restrictions in March. Picture: Stuart McEvoy

“Colliers receives more unsolicited inquiries to acquire this property than any other in the Melbourne CBD”

The grand property was first built as a doctor’s office and later became the headquarters for the historic women’s only Alexandra Club for 60 years. chief executive Nerida Conisbee said there had not been a “big reduction in investment demand for CBD commercial properties” during the pandemic and subsequent economic recession.

She added cashed-up investors were primed for “revenge spending”, meaning they would splash their cash post-pandemic.

Melburnians use the buildings balcony to watch the AFL Grand Final parade.

“Commercial property investors are still cashed up and have confidence in CBD property,” Conisbee said.

“No doubt there is an expectation that ‘revenge spending’ for luxury and high-end retail goods is just around the corner.”

Expressions of interest for 139 Collins Street will close on October 28.

This article from the Herald Sun originally appeared as “Louis Vuitton building: Melbourne Collins Street landmark for sale with $50m price expectations”.