Merchant House, which began life 135 years ago as home to a printer and bookbinder, a soap and candle maker, and a spirit and wine merchant, is up for sale again.
This time, the storied façade at 333 Kent Street, Sydney, is part of a $400-million office tower redevelopment.
JLL and Knight Frank have been appointed to sell the development that, when completed in the third quarter of 2024, will have 14,173sq m of office space across 16 floors.
JLL’s Luke Billiau said the project was being offered on a fund-through basis.
“The developers will be delivering the asset and we are seeking capital partners to fund the project,” Billiau said.
“Put simply, the developers assume all construction, leasing and delivery risks of this project and that’s ordinarily the most attractive feature of these types of development deals, as well as getting early access to quality assets.”
The site lies within one of Sydney’s busiest commercial precincts, bordered by Barangaroo, Darling Harbour and Martin Place, and is being developed by Sydney-based Addenbrooke in partnership with Super Ocean Group and Phoenix Property Investors.
Architects WMK and Woods Bagot have reused the existing eight-storey building, including its lift core and fire stairs.
The Sydney City Council has also approved a dedicated wellness floor, including treatment rooms, steam room, yoga facility and about 450sq m of external space.
JLL and Knight Frank said a key point for the development would be its environmentally sustainable design, which includes solar panel systems, electric vehicle charging points, hydraulic efficiency, and smart and touchless technology. The building is aiming for a five-star NABERS energy rating and five-star Green Star as-built rating when finished.
“The building has been designed to meet the future tenant demands of the post-pandemic workplace,” Billiau said.
“By utilising the existing building structure in the rebuild, there will be an estimated 60 per cent reduction in embodied carbon during construction and a 50 per cent carbon reduction in building operation when complete,” he said.
Knight Frank’s Paul Roberts said there was a real undersupply of prime stock in the western corridor precinct with only 6 per cent of the future supply being delivered within this segment of the market.
“Three thirty-three Kent Street will go part way to satisfying the demand in this market and will be keenly sought,” Roberts said.
There is almost as much history in the ownership of the property as there is the four-storey warehouse that sat upon it.
Hong Kong-based developer Maville Bay Pty Ltd sold the property to the iProsperity-managed Bridge iProsperity 333 Kent Fund for almost $89 million in 2016.
The following year iProsperity gained approval for a mixed-use hotel development on the site but never moved ahead with plans. In July of 2020, they went into administration.
International expressions-of-interest for the project close on July 21.