Jerry Pilarinos' Kefi Nominees set to sell Melbourne venue The Palace, formerly the Metro nightclub

Jerry Pilarinos' Kefi Nominees set to sell Melbourne venue The Palace, formerly the Metro nightclub
Jerry Pilarinos' Kefi Nominees set to sell Melbourne venue The Palace, formerly the Metro nightclub

One of Melbourne’s most well-known nightspots and the former site of the Metro nightclub has been listed for sale by receivers Ferrier Hodgson, with Asian developers and nightclub operators showing interest.

The building dates back 100 years, starting life as a cinema.

The three-storey building, currently operating as live music venue The Palace, will be marketed exclusively by CBRE sales agents Mark Wizel, Josh Rutman and Scott Callow via an international public tender campaign closing on July 27.

The building is stands at 20-30 and 30A Bourke Street in the Melbourne CBD between Spring and Exhibition streets on a 1,442-square-metre site with 25 metres of Bourke Street frontage.

It is just a stone’s throw from the Victorian Parliament and well-known Melbourne eateries Grossi Florentino, The European and Pelligrini’s.

Wizel says early developer interest has “centred on the highest and best use for the property being a high-density residential project subject to the relevant planning approvals”.

“Sites of this size at the top end of Bourke Street are not readily available for acquisition and, as a result, we are anticipating strong interest from local and overseas buyers, with a particularly high level of enquiry expected from Singaporean, Malaysian and mainland Chinese developers.”

The property is also expected to attract both investors and potential owner-occupiers, given the highly lettable existing improvements – acts at the Palace have included Kylie Minogue, The Darkness and Kaiser Chiefs.

Callow says there has also been strong early interest from nightclub operators and publicans who could look “to restore ‘The Metro’ to its former glory days as one of Melbourne’s leading music and entertainment venues.”

Receiver and Ferrier Hodgson partner George Georges, who was appointed in February this year, says the landmark property had already generated significant interest.

“The Metro is well known as part of The Fabric of life in central Melbourne,” he says.

“It’s a brilliantly located site with a huge variety of optional uses and tremendous potential for development.”

The 100-year old building has also been home to the Melbourne Revival Centre.

The property with reported $15 million expectations is owned by Kefi Nominees, directed by nightclub identity and property developer Jerry Pilarinos.

It has been put up for sale by Ferrier Hodgson after Pilarinos’s company Kefi Nominees was forced into administration by Bankwest.

Kefi acquired it in 2007 for $10 million from Irene Meletsis.

Kefi listed The Metro for sale in May last year through Colliers International with an asking price of $20 million as a residential development site, but without a building permit.

At the same time as Kefi listed The Metro for sale, Fairfax Media reported that Pilarinos sold an apartment project, the Tresor on the north-west corner of Chapel Street and Alexandra Avenue, to builder Fridcorp for around $13 million.

He also failed last year in a court bid to recoup $500,000 he invested into small technology company Computronics Holdings.

Songstress Lana Del Rey is listed as next to perform at the Palace, with 1980s icon Rick Astley appearing in November.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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