Sam Tarascio’s Salta Properties has listed a prominent Melbourne CBD office building complete with planning approval for a Bates Smart-designed 52-storey tower.
Salta Properties, which has held the 13-storey tower at 63 Exhibition Street in the city’s east end since 2014, will look to divest the asset with price expectations of $80 million.
The developer sounded out plans for a 64-level high-rise apartment and hotel tower in 2015, alongside joint venture partner Asia One, but was knocked back in 2018 due to concerns it threatened to overshadow the Birrarung Marr park on the Yarra’s north bank.
However, the building still holds planning approval for a 52-level scheme, which was signed off on by planning minister Richard Wynne in 2017.
The existing commercial office building, formerly known as Citicorp House, was constructed in 1969 and extensively refurbished in 2003.
The 6,100sq m building, which is currently 74 per cent leased, holds frontages to Exhibition Street, Strachan and Chester Lanes, located within Australia’s most prominent CBD junction of Collins and Exhibition Streets.
The site is also within walking distance of Melbourne’s renowned sporting facilities as well as the cultural offerings of Federation Square and the Southbank Arts Precinct beyond.
JLL’s Josh Rutman, Nick Rathgeber, Leigh Melbourne, Piers Jalland and Peter Harper have been appointed by Salta to manage the transaction.
Rutman said the the building’s location in the eastern core of Melbourne’s CBD had long been a seen as a “recession-proof pocket of the city”, regardless of market cycles.
The building’s current approval, achieved in May, would feature a plot ratio of 33:1—zoning that is no longer achievable under existing planning controls.
It will feature a six levels of podium which will include a bar, restaurant, lobby, conference facilities, pool and recreation, and offices.
Above the podium, the tower will comprise a diverse mix of high-end residential accommodation as well as a 6-star hotel, featuring approximately 120 apartments and 185 rooms guest rooms.
JLL hotels managing director Peter Harper said the prospective hotel element of the future project would be a draw card to investors with corporate travel, tourism and visitation numbers expected to normalise over the next 24-36 months.
“The current level of hotel investment and development activity is a clear indicator of just how highly regarded Melbourne is by the global community,” Harper said.
“Hotel operators from around the world will be attracted to this opportunity as the east end market is nigh on impossible to gain a significant presence.”
The family-owned Salta, who are focusing on their broader industrial and office development pipeline, has long held a range of development interests, spanning residential, office and industrial.
The firm won a significant opportunity in August, with the federal and state governments committing to invest in connecting rail to Salta’s development estate at Dandenong South.
The deal, which involves a $28 million investment by both the federal and Victorian governments on government-owned land to connect rail to Salta’s boundary site, could trigger the developer to invest more than $50 million from its own coffers.
That investment would be put towards the construction of the Dandenong South Intermodal Terminal set to be located on Salta’s 180-hectare estate, Nexus, in Dandenong South.