Icon Developments has settled its landmark commercial project in Melbourne’s emerging technology hub, Cremorne.
The eight-storey, Wood Marsh-designed office tower at 600 Church Street was purchased off the plan in 2018 by Melbourne-based investment firm Bayley Stuart Capital for $50 million.
Located on the site of the former Nuttelex building on the corner of Church and Balmain Streets, construction of 600 Church St was completed in May, and features 5,264sq m of office space and 535sq m of ground-floor retail.
Marketed with an estimated fully-leased net income of $3.47 million, funds manager Bayley Stuart purchased 600 Church St on a turnkey basis with vacant possession, amid low vacancy rates and rising demand in Melbourne’s office market—which, at the time, created the perfect environment for the sale.
Now, post-Covid-19, the settlement is a good sign for a sector facing ongoing uncertainty, as tenants look for greater flexibility in leases as they reconsider office space requirements after the mass transition to working from home.
Property portal Domain has signed on as anchor tenant, occupying two of the Melbourne fringe office building’s eight floors.
With Cremorne fast becoming a hub for creative, retail and tech industries, Icon Developments’ senior development manager Brinn Tavener says the settlement of 600 Church St demonstrates the enduring strength of the asset class.
“Given the current environment, the settlement of this building demonstrates that quality office stock like this will endure.
“Cremorne is now quite established as a creative and tech hub, and there’s still a lot of buzz and excitement about it as a place where businesses want to be,” Tavener said.
“As restrictions ease, we’re proud to have delivered a sculptural landmark that reflects both the area’s industrial heritage and status as a leading innovation precinct.”
According to recent research from Knight Frank, Cremorne has seen rent prices increase by more than 85 per cent in the last four years.
Its development follows an influx of top-tier businesses moving to the area, including Seek, Uber, REA Group and Tesla in recent years.
Icon Developments, helmed by joint chief executives Simeon Goldenberg and Matthew Bourke, has been based in Cremorne for almost 20 years, and the settlement adds to the developer’s residential pipeline which includes projects in Balaclava, East Melbourne and Richmond.
Emerging development firm Tope Lane—formed by colleagues who worked together on Icon’s 600 Church Street project, Edward Cramer and Kyle Reeve—has lodged plans for a $110 million commercial development 65-81 Dover Street, Cremorne.
And nearby, at 40 Cubitt Street, property developer Little Projects has lodged plans to demolish an amalgamated collection of low-lying industrial buildings—comprising 2-6 Fitzgibbon Street and 49-55 Dover Street—to make way for a $32 million commercial building.