Melbourne heritage laneway building listed for sale

A 125-year old warehouse conversion in a Melbourne laneway, the former home to De Lacy restaurant, has been listed for vacant possession sale.

One of four properties historically known as Marks’ Warehouses, 29 Niagara Lane was built in the Flemish Medieval style designed by architect George De Lacy Evans.

The 1887-built building is best known as the De Lacey restaurant which ran for 22 years before closing in 2007. It was reopened in 2008 but has since closed again.

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Prior to this it operated as a prominent art gallery.

And before it began its life as a gallery it was the home of a cordial and spurious health product import business, as advertised in the image below.

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In 2006 The Age described the premises as “a classic Melbourne hidden gem oozing potential”.

Agent Peter Moore is marketing the property for use as a hospitality business, retail or showroom use, or for office or residential conversion, subject to council approval. It is zoned capital city 1.

It comes set up as a restaurant with cooking and bar facilities, a cool room, wine storage, a dishwasher and preparation and serving equipment.

The previous owner renovated the property to create a spacious entry, a central kitchen and a high clearance space between the entry and first-floor level.

The renovation included a restoration of the original building facades so the patina of the original building fabric has been retained.

It is one of four warehouses built in 1887 for Henry Marks by builder Daniel Sinclair, according to heritage documents.

“The first floor openings to the main facade are segmental arches, the second storey round arched,” according to heritage documents found in 1980. “In the Queen Anne Revival style, the parapeted gable ends are topped with finials.”

“Internally the floors are of Tasmanian Ironbark. The ceilings are timber-boarded and the floor to ceiling heights are seven metres.

“The buildings still retain their American barrel hoists. The lowest floor is a semi-basement, which allowed the ground floor to be at wagon tray level.”

All four warehouses are heritage listed.

The 98 square metre site has an internal space of 220 square metres.

It is being sold by Melbourne Commercial Group agent Peter Moore. The short notice listing goes to auction on May 31 with a price guide of around $1.8 million.

Alistair Walsh

Alistair Walsh

Deutsche Welle online reporter

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