A substantial landholding in Melbourne’s world-class arts and entertainment precinct which came to market this week is expected to captivate the imagination of international developers.
The 4176 square metre site at 268 Sturt Street, Southbank, represents a mixed-use opportunity with several permissible uses, including residential, hotel, serviced apartment, office or showroom.
Colliers International’s Trent Hobart, Bryson Cameron and Brett Griffith have been appointed to market the opportunity by Charter Keck Cramer, on behalf of the University of Melbourne.
“This is a genuinely rare opportunity to develop a significant gateway site in one of Melbourne’s most desirable, residential owner-occupier locations,” Mr Hobart said.
The site is owned by the University of Melbourne who have predominantly used it as an open-air car park, but the university has since admitted the site is a "surplus to its current needs and would use the proceeds from the sale to help fund future projects".
University of Melbourne Director of campus strategy Long Nguyen said the capital value of the site could be strategically reallocated into future projects, having taken their portfolio and buoyancy of the current development market into consideration.
Australia is expecting incredible population growth, with Victoria leading the country by growing by 2.1 per cent or about 125,000 people in the year to September 2016.
Mr Hobart said Sturt Street was the spine of Melbourne’s arts, culture and entertainment precinct, and number 268 Sturt Street represented the gateway.
“The site is bordered to the south by half a hectare of pristine parkland at the intersection of Sturt Street and Kings Way, and to the north by the longstanding Melbourne Theatre Company,” he said.
“Given its location, the site is walkable to many of Melbourne’s attractions, whilst trams at the frontage provide convenient access to the best amenity the city has to offer.”
Collier's Bryson Cameron said the “healthy” scale and position of the site opened up a vast array of development options and future uses that could afford developers with increased residential design flexibility.
“There is also potential for large commercial floor plates, along with incredible visibility and exposure given its prominent position,” he said.
“Moreover, being located directly next to Sturt Street Reserve, there are possible exciting integration opportunities for the future uses.”
The property has been on the radar of the City of Melbourne and the state government for some time, with both earmarking it for a future, strategic development. The government’s Melbourne Arts Precinct Blueprint describes 268 Sturt Street as a landmark site that punctuates the Sturt Street south intersection with Kings Way as a major entry point to the arts precinct.
With frontage to Sturt Street Reserve and high visibility from Kings Way, the property is in the heart of the arts precinct and is surrounded by several iconic institutions, including the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne Recital Centre, Victorian College of the Arts and Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.