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Adam Ford's picture
#27

No such accusation from me, Michael. I didn't actually twig what 3000 was referencing.

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Michael Berquez's picture
#28

I know, I was responding to 3000

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Mark Baljak's picture
#29

Luck of the Irish for Beulah: Developer still keen after Celtic Club rejection

Malaysian-backed developer Beulah International is redoubling its efforts to acquire the Celtic Club premises in the Melbourne CBD after club members narrowly voted down a proposed $25.6 million sale.

While members have seen a number of offers come and go in recent years, its property on the corner of Queen and La Trobe Streets gained considerable value from planning approval in 2012 for a 48-storey apartment tower.

But the clock is ticking. An extension to the development permit granted earlier this year is due to expire in October 2017.

By that time, new planning rules will restrict the extent of development in the CBD, potentially reducing the value of the Celtic Club site.

The decision whether to accept the offer or remain at the historic three-storey hotel the Celtic Club has occupied since 1959 has caused ructions within Australia's oldest Irish club.

More than 71 per cent of members voting supported the Beulah deal, negotiated by CBRE. But that result falls short of the 75 per cent threshold needed to approve the offer.

Needs work

Weighing on members' minds is the need to restore the Queen Street building. As well, under a previous proposal, the club was allocated four floors in a redevelopment of the premises.

Club president Brian Shanahan supports the move to sell and is worried the club could face a similar fate as the Queensland Irish Club, which went into liquidation last year.

"This offer is a very good one and I'm very disappointed," he said. "We need to ensure the future and we'll look at all possible means of doing that."

Club secretary Felicity Allen was one of leaders of the "no" campaign. She said it was "$5 million short of a good offer" and left the club no place to go.

"It's a beautiful building. It just needs work," she said. "It's been allowed to run down but there's no reason why it couldn't be restored to its former glory."

Developer Beulah, run by Jiaheng Chan and his partner, Adelene Teh, has a number of upcoming boutique projects across Melbourne.Mr Chan was buoyed by the strength of the vote and sensed a deal may still be possible.

"We recognise the importance of the Celtic Club within Melbourne and Australian history and welcome the opportunity to work closely with the club to discuss any concerns or reservations the club may have, which may include exploring options of the club remaining on the site," he said.

Read more: http://www.afr.com/real-estate/luck-of-the-irish-for-beulah-developer-st...

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Adrian's picture
#30

The interior of that building is one of the most insipid and uninspiring in Melbourne. Despite the fact I live around the corner I never drink there socially and only force myself to go when they have football viewing events that aren't possible anywhere else.

I'll grant the front bar does have nice high ceilings and some potential but it's just always been devoid of atmosphere that other great Irish Pubs like The Quiet Man & The Snug have in spades, and that's not even factoring in the soul depleting pokies around the back of the bar.

Gut the insides it and start fresh with something offering a combination of traditional and modern ...

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Bilby's picture
#31

Anyone have photos of the interior?

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Melb on's picture
#32

I had been in this pub many times 20 years ago when it had a beautiful old world timber bar and long before the hideous pokies next door were established. Irish bands would play here [The Colonials' ] was one and it had a great atmosphere. Sometime ago however they decided to tear the main bar out and replace with mundane boring kitchen chairs and tables and it never felt the same.May as we gut the shit hole and just leave the facade.It also appears some of the members are getting very greedy and are holding out for more money anyway.You would be disappointed Bilby if you walked into the main bar now.

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Ryan Seychell's picture
#33

Sold to Beulah International.

Irish club premises sold to Malaysians

The 140-year-old premises of the Celtic Club has been sold to Malaysian developer Beulah International for $25.6 million after more than 75 per cent of voting members backed the deal on Wednesday night.

"After a long night with 344 votes cast, you as members have decided to support the sale of our current Club premises to Beulah International. There were 274 votes for the sale; 68 votes against, and 2 informal," said the club on its website.

The deal marks the end of an acrimonious battle among members over whether to cash in on rising land values in the city centre and sell the green and white imposing former hotel on the corner of Queen and La Trobe Street in Melbourne.

The club's premises sold through CBRE and CBRE Hotels with a permit in place for a 48-level tower on the 676 square metre site. Artists impressions indicate the elaborate Victorian-era facade would be retained in any new development.

As part of the deal, the club has the option to buy back 2,000 square metres of the Queen Street premises including the ground and first floors to establish a new contemporary club.

Read more: http://www.afr.com/real-estate/commercial/development/celtic-club-sells-...
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Mark Baljak's picture
#34

Without agreeing to the sale, the Celtic Club stood to lose more than $9 million noting on its website that advice from Melbourne City Council and the Minister for Planning's Office indicated that the current redevelopment permit would not be extended.

To take advantage of the existing permit, Beulah needs to commence work on the tower by October next year.

Read more: http://www.afr.com/real-estate/commercial/development/celtic-club-sells-...

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Bilby's picture
#35

A disaster for Melbourne's heritage. But it's all worth it to "save" the club, right?

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theboynoodle's picture
#36

Whoever granted the permission caused the issue. Whether or not saving the club was the motivation for selling is irrelevant. A planning decision made that property incredibly valuable and the members evidently decided that the financial benefits to the club (and the members? I don't know if any will personally benefit) outweighed heritage considerations.

If I owned a heritage building and someone added $30m to the value provided I sold it to someone who wanted to build a tower on top then, sorry bud, I'm selling. Heritage protection is a public concern and it's a big ask of private persons to voluntarily do the job, especially if they're not flush with cash in the first place.

The government needs to be the lead here. Planning decisions need to protect heritage. There should be structured markets around development and air rights so that heritage buildings and sites can unlock value by means other than 'on site' development (that's how New York works, right?)

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Bilby's picture
#37

And who are "the public" who should be concerned, Theboynoodle?

The Celtic Club absolutely has a civic responsibility to the city it supposedly cherishes. How ironic is it that the Celtic Club's own website proclaims its central aim to be one of respecting and celebrating "... culture and heritage" and "...extending a welcoming hand ... to the broader community": https://www.celticclub.com.au/culture-and-heritage (link is external) (link is external)

What a way to extend a welcoming hand to the Melbourne community - sell out one of our best CBD heritage buildings to be thoughtlessly facaded for a tower!

It seems for the Celtic Club, culture and heritage is important when it concerns Irish Australian identity, but Melbourne's built culture and heritage is worth little to nothing.

Scots Church did it in 2012 with their sellout to Westpac - this year it's the Uniting Church selling out the Princess Mary Club for an office tower and the Celtic Club likewise cashing in on our collective urban inheritance. Well, as a Melburnian I say, "thanks for nothing" to each of these esteemed institutions.

Private "persons" or not, each of these very public bodies should hang their heads in shame.

CBD | Paragon Tower | 316-320 Queen Street | 48L | 154m | Residential

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theboynoodle's picture
#38

And who are "the public" who should be concerned, Theboynoodle?

Everyone, obviously. What are you getting at?

The Celtic Club absolutely has a civic responsibility to the city it supposedly cherishes. How ironic is it that the Celtic Club's own website proclaims its central aim to be one of respecting and celebrating "... culture and heritage" and "...extending a welcoming hand ... to the broader community": https://www.celticclub.com.au/culture-and-heritage (link is external) (link is external) (link is external)

Why does it have a civic responsibility? It's a private members club, isn't it? And, as well you know, all that fluff about 'heritage and culture' is a reference to Irish heritage and culture.. and a good ceilidh is a good ceilidh wherever it is. It's not as if the current building has much of the trad Irish pub about it.

What a way to extend a welcoming hand to the Melbourne community - sell out one of our best CBD heritage buildings to be thoughtlessly facaded for a tower!

It's not 'ours' though. It's theirs. And if we think that the rest of us will get more than $30m worth of value from preserving it (and don't get me wrong, great buildings and streetscapes can be worth that, directly and indirectly, many times over) then maybe we should have made an offer.

It seems for the Celtic Club, culture and heritage is important when it concerns Irish Australian identity, but Melbourne's built culture and heritage is worth little to nothing.

Scots Church did it in 2012 with their sellout to Westpac - this year it's the Uniting Church selling out the Princess Mary Club for an office tower and the Celtic Club likewise cashing in on our collective urban inheritance. Well, as a Melburnian I say, "thanks for nothing" to each of these esteemed institutions.

Private "persons" or not, each of these very public bodies should hang their heads in shame.

You're free to criticise. I like to think that if I was making decisions for such an organisation I'd make the same one that you would. But I'd look at both sides.. at what the money meant we could do.

If the elected government says that The Celtic Club can have a crappy tower plonked on top, then why don't the members get to say 'well we do think we have a duty to the wider public.. but the wider public told us, via their elected representatives, that they were ok with this tower'?

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Bilby's picture
#39

I stand by what I said.

I would also add that the building the Celtic Club is allowing to be facaded is, in part, "ours". Ownership of the city goes beyond title deeds - there isn't a single case in Victoria where a property owner can literally do anything they like with their property. Why? Because the broader community, via various laws and controls, has a stake in the outcomes of choices made by property owners, and in the public realm more generally.

In this case, yes, a permit was given to destroy their own heritage building, but the club well knows that the outcome is less than ideal for the streetscape and for the building itself. No one seriously entertains the argument that this tower is doing anything but damage to the heritage of this place. And yet they proceed, despite needing only $6 million or so to pay of the club's debts and refit their space. A sensitive addition on top of their site would have achieved the required outcome without damaging the urban fabric irrevocably.

So, yes, the Celtic Club, like all clubs in Victoria has a civic responsibility - it has just chosen to ignore that responsibility in this case.

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theboynoodle's picture
#40

I agree entirely with your first paragraph, and your second (whatever may follow) begins with the crux of this. A permit was given.

So from there on all you're doing is asking that the Celtic Club voluntarily adhere to a higher standard than they are asked to by society in general (in the form of the law), and that would be asked of a person or organisation not dealing with a building you consider has heritage value.

And you offer nothing in return except what, your thanks? The unspoken (and unpaid) appreciation of future generations? Fuzzy nice feels?

How many more developments like this have to happen before you figure out that you're shouting at the wrong people? The gods of good and sustainable urban development may be on your side, but the economics are not. The sums of money involved are astronomical and once those sums are put on the table by the planning authorities, you're asking too much of owners and developers to put heritage first and leave them there.

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Bilby's picture
#41

I'm not shouting at anyone, just discussing ideas and arguing for a higher standard. I don't think it is too much to ask of a club to have some regard for the culture of the city they claim to embrace.

In terms of who I'm speaking to about these issues - your comment might be true if I was only active on this forum, but rest assured, I absolutely get involved with the real life argy bargy of council, heritage consultation and so on.

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Riddlz's picture
#42

Paragon

designed by Fender Katsalidis

CBD | Paragon Tower | 316-320 Queen Street | 48L | 154m | Residential

CBD | Paragon Tower | 316-320 Queen Street | 48L | 154m | Residential

CBD | Paragon Tower | 316-320 Queen Street | 48L | 154m | Residential

CBD | Paragon Tower | 316-320 Queen Street | 48L | 154m | Residential

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Mark Baljak's picture
#43

Nice result (in terms of the tower)

Should be a press release out there shortly

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Nicholas Harrison's picture
#44

Fantastic outcome.

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drunkill's picture
#45

Looking good, our own mini knockoff of Hearst tower, New York.

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Michael Berquez's picture
#46

Agreed, brilliant outcome

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Peter Maltezos's picture
#47

yesyesWorks for me as well!smiley

I collect, therefore I am. thecollectormm.com.au

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Mark Baljak's picture
#48

Malaysian buyers snap up Beulah's Paragon apartments

CBD | Paragon Tower | 316-320 Queen Street | 48L | 154m | Residential

Real estate agency The Agency has sold 49 apartments from Melbourne developer Beulah International's latest project "Paragon" to Malaysian buyers flushed with cash and mortgages from local banks.

While Australian banks have stopped lending to foreign buyers to cool the market, foreign banks – one of many private lenders which have come to the rescue of foreign buyers – such as Malaysia's Maybank have continued to lend to its citizens to buy apartments overseas. Many Malaysian buyers were also able to pay cash, head of The Agency's projects division, Steven Chen, said.

Beulah also had its own source of vendor financing.

On a recent Malaysian roadshow with the developer, which also has strong connections with the development industry in Malaysia, The Agency sold the top 10 levels of the development, including a top floor penthouse for $3.6 million.

In two days, 49 Paragon apartments were sold to the value of $70 million.

Beulah International general manager Jamie Baldwin said: "The demand witnessed during the pre-launch weekend was astronomical and unprecedented for Melbourne's current market conditions.

Read more: http://www.afr.com/real-estate/malaysian-buyers-snap-up-beulahs-paragon-...

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Michael Berquez's picture
#49

/\/\ Wow.....the top ten levels sold already.
I love everything about this...great looking tower, stunning integration on podium and at 154 metres will look pretty tall on the corner there.

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Mark Baljak's picture
#50

Article says there's also Australia's first elevated indoor forest. Make of that what you will

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Laurence Dragomir's picture
#51

3 of the 4 corners of that intersection will FKA designed buildings

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