Metropolis Fremantle building up for grabs for first time in seven decades

Metropolis Freemantle is on the market for the first time in 75 years. Picture:
Metropolis Freemantle is on the market for the first time in 75 years. Picture:

One of Fremantle’s most iconic buildings, Metropolis Fremantle, has been listed for sale for the first time in 75 years.

Formerly known as the King’s Theatre, the South Terrace property opened as a stage venue in 1904 before it was purchased in 1945 by businessman Victor Gubgub, who used the building as a Ford motor vehicle display centre.

The prominent site has also served as a car yard, ice skating rink, concert venue and a nightclub over its 117 years.

The 2111sqm property, which has been home to the Metropolis Fremantle nightclub since 1991, was originally built to cater for 1200 theatre goers and now has capacity for 1639 people.

The venue has been used as a nightclub and hosted concerts. Picture:

Since 2002, it has been leased to Capitol Corp Group, which operates hotels and bars, including The Lookout in Scarborough and The Breakwater at Hillarys.

CBRE Hotels Investment and Brokerage WA director Ryan McGinnity said the property represented an attractive investment opportunity with another seven years to run on the lease.

“The fact that this landmark property has not been offered to the market in more than seven decades and is leased by an experienced and well-regarded group, will see it attract strong investment interest,” Mr McGinnity said.

“Capitol Corp run some of Perth’s largest late-night venues and do so extremely successfully. The freehold property represents not only an opportunity to acquire an income secured by such a strong tenant, but as importantly, an iconic Fremantle property.”

He said there had been renewed interest in the historic port city, with several key developments set to take shape in coming years.

“Fremantle is currently going through somewhat of a renaissance, with combined private and public investment forecast to exceed $1.3 billion.

“In 2021, Kings Square Fremantle opened, the largest public-private infrastructure project in Fremantle’s history, while the current development pipeline is at its strongest level since the 1986 America’s Cup.”

There are seven years left on the current lease. Picture:

CBRE Metropolitan Investments Australia associate director Derek Barlow said while the long-term tenure of the tenant was appealing, the longer-term development potential of the land, which offers 28m of frontage to South Terrace, would be a major drawcard.

REA Group economist Anne Flaherty said the Metropolis Fremantle site presented a unique opportunity in the WA market, which had largely escaped the economic fallout of COVID-19.

“Having emerged relatively unscathed from the COVID-19 pandemic, Western Australia managed to avoid the length and severity of lockdowns seen in other parts of the country,” Ms Flaherty said.

“Despite border closures, a relatively open local economy has helped to support businesses and, consequently, the commercial property sector.”

Expressions of interest close on May 7.