Inner city factory the place for a $211 million village

Interests associated with the 138-year old Gunnersen??? family business are seeking state ministerial approval to replace their enormous Port Melbourne factory and head office with a $211 million mixed-use village containing three apartment towers, shops, childcare – and a 4600 square metre public space.


The application aims to build 632 apartments at 112 Salmon Street, a long-time trade-supply outlet on the western side of the Fishermans Bend urban renewal zone – between the outgoing Toyota factory and Westgate Park.

Since 2013, most of Fishermans Bend’s skyscraper proposals has been for sites in the area known as Montague, which is more than a kilometre closer to the city than 112 Salmon Street, which is in an area recently zoned as Wirraway.

The Gunnersen factory is close to the 18-22 Salmon Street office which famously sold to residential builders for $27.5 million in February – a rise on the $12.5 million the vendors paid three years prior. Goodman Group is also expected to replace its enormous Port Melbourne Industrial Estate in the area, with flats, longer term.

If approved, the Gunnersen village will include three apartment buildings of between 12 and 18 storeys.

The company, the largest independently Australian-owned distributor of wood-based panel products, timber and decorative surface materials in the Australia-New Zealand region, manages a substantial national property portfolio including in Melbourne, a Derrimut asset near the high-profile John Deere factory, which backs onto the West Gate Freeway.

Earlier this month it was reported US technology company Sunguard Availability Services won approval to build an 18-storey apartment complex at 134-142 Ferrars Street, in the South Melbourne portion of Fishermans Bend, after a 49-level application sought in 2013 was rejected.

Last month R.Corporation applied to Planning Minister Richard Wynne to build twin-height 40-level apartment buildings on an outgoing print factory it bought for $33 million last year at 253-273 Normanby Road, South Melbourne. This proposed $252 million complex would contain 824 standard apartments and 153 hotel suites.

The proposed park at 112 Salmon Street is the second announced for Melbourne’s inner-south recently – with Malaysian builder OSK Property this week unveiling a 3700 square metre European-style public space for its six-tower Melbourne Square project, in Southbank.

Ex-footballer lists shop part-leased to ex-footballer

An Armadale property with two AFL connections hit the market this week.

At 1033 High Street, the three-level building configured with a shop, second floor office, and top storey apartment, is expected to return the vendor, former Carlton and Fitzroy player, Robert “Wallsy” Walls about $2.9 million.

At the centre of a popular retail strip, the ground floor space is tenanted by Jaggad, the athletic clothes design business created by Chris Judd, a former West Coast and Carlton captain, and his wife, model and ex-weather presenter, Rebecca.

A law firm on the middle level accessed via its own High Street entrance, and a resident, fill the rest of the building, which returns a total of $135,000 in annual rent. The modern asset contains 345 square metres of lettable area and a 50 square metre garage off a rear right-of-way.

Gray Johnson’s Rory White and Matt Hoath are representing Mr Walls, who following a successful playing career went on to coach Carlton Football Club to the 1987 (then-VFL) premiership.

Smith & Gunn offer enormous ground-floor Southbank space

Melbourne developers Les Smith and the Gunn family are selling the super-sized 1080 square metre ground floor retail premises of their prominent Guild apartment building, which appears to straddle the West Gate Freeway as it enters the Burnley Tunnel.

The asset at 152 Sturt Street is fully leased to the City of Melbourne’s Creative Victoria division, which pays $168,105 in annual rent.

Savills is expecting about $2.8 million for the space which has the potential to be divided into six smaller, retail shops. Creative Victoria has sub-let some of the space to other groups, including the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Clinton Baxter, Jesse Radisich and Benson Zhou are the marketing agents.

Herszberg trading huge inner-west parcel

A partnership including business stalwart Myer Herszberg??? has found a buyer for a high-profile corner site in what may be Melbourne’s most low-profile inner city suburb, Tottenham.

The 1.6 hectare industrial property, spread over 12 titles at 213 Sunshine Road, has long term residential redevelopment potential. It has an unmissable road frontage of 187 metres, and nearly 10,000 square metres of building area.

The investment is leased but returning what agency Fitzroys called “a low market rental” of $304,457 per annum.

The sale price has been speculated to be more than $8 million – but this could not be confirmed with agents Dean Alexander and Mark Talbot who were unavailable.

Mr Herszberg, who retired as the long-serving chairman of InfoMedia??? in 2015, founded the Denman Audio chain more than 20 years ago and has been involved in a variety of businesses and community service organisations. He is attributed with bringing many cutting-edge electronics products to Australia.

Tottenham is 9 kilometres west of the CBD and this site is walking distance to the train station. A housing estate is taking shape opposite 213 Sunshine Road (this area is zoned as Braybrook). In May Stockland paid $62 million for an 11.5 hectare Braybrook ex-industrial site, which it now plans to replace with townhouses.

Picnic Island Freycinet complex nominated for award

A Picnic Island resort recently opened by former state liberal member Clem Newton-Brown, who came from, and returned to, the planning sector, around a political career that ended in 2014, has been nominated for an Australian Institute of Architects award, for the Small Project category.

The Picnic Island Freycinet complex was created by a team led by project architect, John Latham.

Newton-Brown, a planning barrister who has developed a reputation for taking on complex planning applications often for sensitive sites, had to utilise his skills to get the tourist accommodation approved – the island being cantilevered over the high water mark.

“There is nowhere in Australia where approvals for this type of tourist facility so close to the water have been granted,” Newton-Brown told Fairfax Media. “Even though I got the approvals to build, the responsibility weighed heavily on me to do something special that enhanced rather than detracted from the iconic Freycinet Peninsula environment. My brief to the architect was to create something that looked like it could have washed up on shore,”

“The weathered full copper cladding makes it look like it’s been there a hundred years already”.

In 2007, Newton-Brown sold a 508 square metre plot at the top of Lansell Road, Toorak, with a permit he obtained for it to be used as a private or commercial boat mooring. He later established the Ponyfish Island cafe on a pontoon beneath the Southgate footbridge. In Tasmania, Newton-Brown also owns the Sawyers Bay Shacks tourist accommodation venue, on Flinders Island.

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