Melbourne Heritage Building sold for $28m

4 March 2020

A heritage-listed building in Southbank has been acquired by CostaFox in a $28 million deal.


Developer RJ International sold the property following the State Governments rejection of their plans in late 2018 for a 39 storey tower abutting the historic building. Following the decision, RJ has sought to offer the building for lease with a set of proposed refurbishment works to bring the 3,250sqm NLA property up to a leasing standard.


Costa Fox will likely to continue the office leasing campaign in the short term whilst considering further development options for the site.


The Robur Tea Building or Tea House at 28 Clarendon Street is included on the Victorian Heritage Register for its scientific, historical and architectural significance, and dates back to 1887. Described by Heritage Victoria as "one of the finest and most prominent examples of a 19th century Melbourne warehouse" – the intricate red-brick, six-level structure is now dwarfed by skyscrapers.


A referral authority for Heritage Buildings is Heritage Victoria and appeals to their decisions can only be made to the Heritage Council, not the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) as with most planning matters. RJ International sought to compromise on the design of the development proposal, offering to lower the height and make other modifications, however that to was rejected by Heritage Victoria in 2018.


Development options do still exist and with a building footprint of 600 sqm and a site area of approx 3000 sqm, there is scope to redevelop parts of the site in a way that is sympathetic to the historic building.


The property was sold via CBRE.