Fitzroy's Night Cat lands on its feet and sells to neighbour at auction

Alistair WalshMay 24, 20120 min read

Fitzroy’s music venue The Night Cat will live on after selling for $4.63 million at auction yesterday.

The venue was saved from being turned into a Reese Plumbing shop after neighbouring property owner Andrew Demetriou outbid developers for the site.

Reese’s Plumbing was reportedly hoping to set up an owner-occupier shop in the premises, but Demetriou (not the AFL boss) outbid the company.

“It was the most vicious battle I’ve ever seen at an auction,” says Night Cat operator Max Bella.

“It was the most stressful thing. Thank God Andrew had balls of steel.”

Bella says he will be signing a new lease with Demetriou soon.

“He wants to keep The Night Cat as The Night Cat. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? Culture remains in Fitzroy.”

“It’s the best news for live music in Fitzroy for a long time. We haven’t stopped partying,” Bella says.

“Who could ever want to put a plumbing display shop there, oh God.”

Colliers agent Jeremy Gruzewski says both he and Bella were happy with the auction result.

“It was a strong auction. It was bought by a neighbouring property owner. He’s increasing his portfolio in Fitzroy.”

“Max was yelling and cheering, popping the Moet champagne. He was very thrilled.

“The Night Cat lives on.”

Agents had been expecting $3.2 million plus for the property.

The Night Cat currently pays annual rent of $195,000, with a fixed 4% increase due February 2013 taking the passing rental to $202,772.48 per year net.

The current lease expires on January 2014.

 

 

 

Alistair Walsh

Deutsche Welle online reporter
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