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Melbourne’s first CBD Freehold Auction for 2023 marks a milestone as A'Beckett Street building sells for $11.85m, 43% above Reserve

Jess Freeman • 22/08/2023

144-148 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne

The Melbourne CBD witnessed a momentous occasion last Friday as the gavel fell on the first major auction of 2023. Seven passionate bidders engaged in a thrilling exchange of bids, totalling over 150 rounds, captivating a crowd of more than 200 attendees. The spotlight of the event was the iconic building located at 144-148 A'Beckett Street, a cherished possession of a private Melbourne-based family for over three decades.

A local private investor secured ownership of the historic building with an astounding winning bid of $11.85 million. This remarkable figure not only eclipsed expectations, but also soared an impressive 43% above the property's reserve price.

The corner freehold building is defined by its triple street frontages, spanning an impressive 48 metres. Encompassing a substantial Building Area of 1,187 sqm, the property's underlying land area of 288 sqm, zoned under the coveted Capital City 1 Zoning (CCZ1), presents an array of opportunities for potential development. Prospective uses include residential, office, educational, hotel, and student accommodation, subject to the requisite council approvals.

Furthermore, the property also includes a prominent ground floor showroom, a versatile off-street lockup side entrance – currently used for deliveries and storage – which holds the potential for conversion into a multi-car space facility. The upper levels boast expansive open floor plates across Levels 1, 2, and 3, characterised by minimal partitions and accompanied by dedicated bathroom and kitchen facilities. The building further offers an unobstructed rooftop space and premium signage possibilities.

The successful transaction was orchestrated by Oliver Hay, Anthony Kirwan, Daniel Wolman and Leon Ma of Cushman & Wakefield and Joel Wald of MMJ Real Estate.

Oliver Hay, Cushman & Wakefield's International Director & Co-Head of Investment Sales for VIC, expressed his astonishment at the diversity of the buyer pool. He described the influx as the most varied he had seen recently, with a distribution of 55% from China, 34% from local buyers, and 11% from Malaysia. Notably, five offshore bidders were introduced to the auction by Cushman & Wakefield's Melbco Asia Capital Services team, underscoring the property's international appeal.

“The sale of 144-148 A'Beckett Street will undoubtedly be remembered as a pivotal moment in Melbourne's real estate history. As this iconic building embarks on a new chapter under the stewardship of its local private investor, the legacy of the private Melbourne-based family who held it for over 31 years will endure, contributing to the city's rich architectural heritage” Mr Joel Wald off MMJ said.

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