Melbourne University has moved to offload a large vacant site in Southbank now used as a public car park as it seeks funds to build the new home for the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music nearby.
The university has placed a 4176 square metre plot on the market at a time of peaking demand in the property cycle when developers are pushing hard out on the CBD’s fringes.
The site at 268 Sturt Street, located behind a small nature reserve on the corner of Sturt Street and Kings Way, is used as a public car park.
Land in Southbank typically fetches around $7500 per square metre.
A site of that size in Sturt Street could fetch up to $30 million, a significant boost for the university, which faces construction of its new $105.5 million Melbourne Conservatorium of Music this year.
Melbourne University announced last year it would begin building the conservatorium after gaining a lease extension from the state government and a $3.5 million grant for a site next to the Melbourne Recital Centre and Southbank Theatre at the other end of Sturt Street.
Colliers International’s Trent Hobart, Bryson Cameron and Brett Griffith have been appointed to market the site by Charter Keck Cramer, which has acted on behalf of the university.
The university has extensive inner city campuses and is one of the central city’s largest landholders.
Its director of campus strategy Long Nguyen said the Sturt Street site was surplus to the university’s needs and its sale would help fund future projects.
“After assessing our current portfolio and project pipeline, along with the buoyancy of the current development market, we determined that the capital value of this asset could be strategically reallocated into future projects,” Mr Nguyen said.
The proposed sale of the car park follows BRW Rich Lister Lloyd Williams offloading the Southbank premises of his property development outfit Hudson Conway at 250 Sturt Street to a mainland Chinese company for $11 million.
Mr Williams had wanted to develop a 40-storey residential tower on the 832 square metre site, a proposal rejected by planning minister Richard Wynne before a scaled-down 16-level apartment was subsequently approved.
A super site nearby in South Melbourne sold this March for $41 million to the Langer family’s GLG Group.
Private owner Aviation Consolidated Holdings sold the 4641 square metre property, opposite South Melbourne market, which was on 10 separate titles, bounded by Cecil, York, Northumberland and Market streets.