Nicholas Building: Melbourne CBD creative hub to sell for $80m in unique deal

A Melbourne CBD building dubbed a ‘creative hub for vertical artists’ appears to have been saved, as it looks to be selling for $80m in a unique deal.

The 10-storey building in the prime location on the corner of Swanston St and Flinders Lane was put on the market last year, with fears it would be transformed into apartments or an office building.

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The Nicholas Building.

The Nicholas Building, Various Suites, 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000 - Office For Lease - realcommercial

The arcade inside the Nicholas Building.

A campaign to save the creative community inside the heritage-listed Nicholas Building received over 5000 signatures.

A group of wealthy Melbourne families, including the Davis and Cohens and their respective relatives, put the historic property on the market last July.

Home to one of the oldest creative hubs in Melbourne, the building has more than 100 tenants spread across the building’s 10 floors of offices and studios, including designers, makers, artists and musicians.

The ground floor is also home to the Cathedral Arcade of boutique retail spaces.

The Nicholas Building, Various Suites, 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000 - Office For Lease - realcommercial

The Nicholas Building, Various Suites, 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000 – Office For Lease – realcommercial

The Nicholas Building, Various Suites, 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000 - Office For Lease - realcommercial

One of the shopfronts inside the Nicholas building.

Local investment firm Forza Capital is reportedly doing due diligence on the building for around $80m, with the intention of purchasing it under a social-enterprise model, which will allow the creative community occupants to stay, CRE reports.

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Notable occupants of the building include Australian visionary artist, dancer and bohemian Vali Myers, and one of Australia’s most wanted fugitives and author, Gregory David Roberts – a convicted bank robber who escaped from Pentridge Prison in 1980 and fled to India.

The Nicholas Building, Various Suites, 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000 - Office For Lease - realcommercial

The building has 10 storeys.

Allard Shelton’s Joseph Walton said at the time of the property hitting the market that the location at the intersection of Swanston St and Flinders Lane made it an growing commercial opportunity, across from the $11bn Metro Rail project’s proposed new Town Hall Station.

The building has only had two owners in its lifetime, including the original Nicholas Brothers and the current owners, consisting of four families of “first cousins”.

Coffee shops and other retail spaces feature on the ground floor.

The Nicholas Building is nearly 100 years old.

The four Toorak families reportedly include surnames like Davis, Smorgan, Cohen, Price, Silverstein and Samuel, have owned it since 1973.

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