Melbourne’s Louis Vuitton flagship store sold for huge sum

The Paris-end landmark is occupied by Louis Vuitton.
The Paris-end landmark is occupied by Louis Vuitton.

A classic Collins Street building home to Louis Vuitton’s flagship city store has bagged a buyer after attracting mammoth international interest.

The historic Paris-end landmark on the corner of Russell Street is under offer, with the deal expected to be official within the “next three weeks”, according to Colliers International agent Oliver Hay.

“It hasn’t sold yet but contracts have been exchanged,” Mr Hay said.

“There were multiple parties interested across the six-week process.”

139 Collins Street, Melbourne is under contract.

Mr Hay would not comment on rumours the historic four-storey building had sold to a Singaporean investor for about $65m – well above the advertised $50m price expectations.

It’s a figure over and above the $16.2m paid in 2006 by the vendors, late barrister John Kearney and his wife Alison. The wealthy couple also owned The Block Arcade, which they sold for $80m in 2014.

Colliers’ Matt Stagg said there was “more than 350 purchaser inquiries” from Australia, South East Asia, China, America and Europe in the building housing Louis Vuitton.

International investors were attracted to the blue-chip building. Photo: Ozan Kose

Balconies of the building were previously used to view the AFL Grand Final parade.

“The international expressions of interest campaign culminated in more than 15 competitive offers being received from ultra-high net worth private investors, listed investment funds, syndicates and international luxury retail brands,” Mr Stagg said.

Virtual tours, detailed building reports and extensive sales material were provided to international investors who could not travel to Australia to physically inspect the asset.

Louis Vuitton’s long-term lease ends in 2026, which means the luxe store is unlikely to disappear from the city.

There are other legal and financial offices in the building above the ground floor.

A photo of the building from 1956.

The grand National Trust-protected building was built in 1886 as a doctors’ office and later became the headquarters for the historic women-only Alexandra Club for 60 years.

Colliers International Victorian chief executive John Marasco previously told the Herald Sun it was a “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,” Mr Marasco said.

He said the sale would “demonstrate the robustness of the Melbourne CBD market”, which has been hard hit during Victoria’s coronavirus lockdown.

This article from the Herald Sun originally appeared as “Louis Vuitton: Melbourne flagship store bags buyer for huge price”.