Demand For Site Conversions Grows In St Leonards


St Leonards is seeing a growing trend for older commercial buildings to be converted into residential development sites.

According to JLL agents, the area has seen a number of these types of conversions in the area over the past six months.

The latest property to go on the market is a mixed-use development site at 68-70 Chandos Street in St Leonards on Sydney’s coveted lower-north shore is announced to the market.

Suitable for residential use with ground-floor retail, the property has a current short-term holding income of $224,286 per annum, with the current lease terms expiring in July 2015.

JLL’s Senior Negotiator for Sales and Investments, NSW, Dylan McEvoy, and Associate Director of Office Sales and Leasing, North Sydney, Gordon McFadyen, are handling the sale.

According to Mr McEvoy, the area is popular for well-located development sites, being positioned within short travelling distance to Sydney CBD, North Sydney and Chatswood employment corridors.

“St Leonards is a popular living location for apartment buyers, which is fuelling the growing trend of older-style commercial buildings with an underlying residential zoning being converted to development sites.

“This is evidenced by several residential conversions occurring in the last six months, including 19-23 Chandos Street and 617-621 Pacific Highway, St Leonards – both properties which are currently being marketed for sale – and 231-235 Pacific Highway, North Sydney which was purchased by Greenland in March this year for $56 million.

“We anticipate 68-70 Chandos Street will be well-received from both boutique developers and larger development groups looking for sites on the lower north shore. The area is a highly sought-after residential development location, and we are expecting strong interest from local, state-wide and national private developers as well as Asian development groups,” said Mr McEvoy.

According to Mr McFadyen, there is a strong residential demographic in St Leonards yet commercial leasing performance has been patchy.

“A lot of commercial stock in the area is older, with some offices having remained vacant for several years. Landlords are seeking best value from the upswing in demand from mixed-use development sites on the lower north shore.

“There are few opportunities remaining in such great proximity to the Sydney CBD for residential developments. Similar to Chatswood, St Leonards is a tightly-held market with limited properties available. The pent-up demand for residential investment stock with close access to the Sydney CBD from both local and overseas investors is expected to continue to drive demand,” said Mr McFadyen.

The property at 68-70 Chandos Street, St Leonards has a site area of 525 square metres.

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