Landmark ‘Skipping Girl’ Building Sells After Two Years


Melbourne’s Skipping Girl Vinegar office complex has sold, nearly two years after it was listed.

The property is understood to have sold for between $20 million and $25 million to a private purchaser, who plans to develop the 2971sq m landholding at 651 Victoria Street, Abbotsford.

It sold for above the $20-million price expectations given in February 2020 by the property’s multiple strata holders that includes funds manager Vantage Property Investments.

The property was initially listed by CBRE and remained on the market until August and finally sold in an off-market transaction through Melbourne-based agents Fitzroys.

The building is home to the 1970s-era neon Skipping Girl Vinegar sign, which is on the National Trust and Victorian Heritage Register and will be incorporated in the redevelopment of the site.

Possibly the first animated neon sign in Australia when erected in 1936, the original sign was on top of the Skipping Girl Vinegar factory at 627 Victoria Street. It was removed in 1968—a reproduction was placed on 651 Victoria Street in 1970 after a public outcry.

The skipping girl vinegar building is surrounded by new developments on the banks of the Yarra River along the tramline
▲ The skipping girl vinegar building is surrounded by new developments and also has 102 carparking bays.

Details of the redevelopment are yet to be finalised but will include either adding levels to the 3668sq m complex or a total redevelopment.

The property was sold with a short weighted average lease expiry, currently returning $1.2 million per annum, and could generate $1.5 million fully-leased.

Fitzroys director Paul Burns said this was an ultra-rare opportunity to secure a “true Melbourne icon from the city’s industrial heyday”.

“We were able to secure a buyer off-market during the pandemic through our contacts in the extensive Fitzroys database, after the property was offered to the market early in 2020 ,” Burns said.

“As well as the chance to secure a landmark asset, the attraction for buyers also stemmed from the property’s rare riverfront position, its location opposite Victoria Gardens surrounded by medium- and high-density residential, and the ongoing gentrification of the city fringe.”

A nine storey apartment building on the Yarra River in Abbotsford. It has a natural colour palate reflecting the river, gum trees and bushland around.
▲ Renders from Salta Properties' development next door to the Skipping Girl Vinegar site as seen from the Yarra River.

Next door, Salta Properties is building its nine-level residential project Walmer with 69 luxury apartments. One of the units sold for $6.8 million, an Abbotsford record, in April.

In other landmark industrial building sales and developments in Melbourne, plans for a $1.5-billion mixed use project are under way at the Jam Factory at 500 Chapel Street, South Yarra.

Gurner and Qualitas are behind that development after acquiring the property in March from Newmark Capital, who have partnered on the new project.

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