Richmond brothel on the market for $3.6 million
A brothel is on the market in Melbourne’s inner-city amid changing times for what some refer to as the world’s oldest profession.
The 418sqm property in Victoria St, Richmond is for sale with price expectations of $3.6 million according to selling agent Jack Teneketzis, director with TCI Property Consultants.
Brothels like the Candy Club have struggled in recent years as lockdown restrictions have had a huge impact on business, Mr Teneketzis said.
The owner reduced the rent during Melbourne’s lockdowns he added, but the rent has now gone back up as “the industry has recovered”.
Real estate agent and broker Theo Tzimas who has sold many brothels said owners and operators in Melbourne had found the last few years very difficult due to the restrictions enacted by the pandemic.
“Since we’ve had so many lockdowns. They [brothels] have been hit the most, so the first industry that closed and probably the last to reopen were the brothels,” he said.
Mr Tzimas said he deals with a broad range of buyers, but the one change he has noticed is that lately he’s had more women enquiring about brothels.
“So look, it is changing. And I get a lot of females actually enquiring about buying one as well. So if you understand the industry, it can be quite lucrative,” he said.
Purpose-built brothel provides steady income
The property has two income streams, the brothel which is rented out for $220,000 and a large billboard sign leased for 15 years for around $18,500. The brothel is rented out to Candy Club on a five-year lease that expires in 2025, with CPI reviews attached to each of the two five-year extension options.
The Richmond brothel has been operating since the early 1990s when sex work was legalised in Victoria. It has had the one owner who is now selling and looking to move interstate.
One of the building’s main selling points is that it was purpose built as a brothel Mr Teneketzis said.
“It’s unlikely that you’ll find a brothel that’s got this level of what’s called building works, built from the ground up.
“A lot of them were existing buildings that were modified. This was purpose built from day one, to be operated as a brothel,” he said.
Buyer interest in the property, which was only listed for sale on Tuesday, has been strong Mr Teneketzis said.
“All I can say is that this is probably one of the better responses that I’ve had to a campaign this year.”
Mr Teneketzis contrasted buyer interest in the brothel with that for an adult entertainment shop on nearby Bridge Road which recently sold for $1.25million on October 11.
He said interest in that property wasn’t as strong and while the new owner can see that much of the trade is going online, he still thinks there is still a place for well-established adult entertainment stores.
“It’s just going to be a different type of business, but a successful business,” he said.
The Richmond brothel property has a long history of consistently providing income to its owners Mr Teneketzis said.
“There hasn’t been any loss of rent, rent free management, leasing fees, anything like that. There’s just been income consistently since it was built.”
Melbourne brothels that have been openly listed for sale
The Richmond brothel is the third to openly hit the market in Victoria in 2022. The Paradise Angels brothel in Seaford was listed for sale in May and sold for $1.5million. The new owner plans to continue leasing it out as an adult entertainment venue.
In Coburg North the Crystal Lodge brothel was listed for sale in March as the owner is looking to retire.
But the sex industry in Victoria is changing, in February the Sex Work Decriminalisation Act 2022 was passed by the Victorian state parliament as part of a staged decriminalisation of sex work.
Mr Tzimas said the changes could end up being a good for brothel owners and could open up new sources of revenue.
“It could be a very good thing. Especially when the legislation does change and they [brothel owners and operators] can introduce new things to the actual business and give their customers a better experience, that might improve business,” he said.