How much did The Block, Port Melbourne cost?

How much did The Block, Port Melbourne cost?
How much did The Block, Port Melbourne cost?

The Block building at 164 Ingles Street, Port Melbourne cost $5.025 million last December.

The outstanding building of 2,355sqm space was offered through the Dawkins Occhiuto agency on the realcommercial website.

It was bought by Micjoy Pty Ltd, a company associated with Channel 9.

It was sold to The Block by Woodruff Street Developments, associated with the BRW rich-lister Harry Stamoulis​ who had paid $24 million for the larger four hectare site when it was bought from the soap manufacturer Symex Holdings.

The building now sits on land of 1,155sqm surrounded by medium density, low rise residential development in what is becoming known as the Fishermans Bend, Australia's largest urban renewal precinct.

The subject site contains the former administrative offices of the Kitchen and Sons Pty Ltd Factory.

The former John Kitchen & Sons Factory at 164 Ingles Street, Port Melbourne, originally occupied the entire block bounded by Ingles Street to the west, Munro Street to the south, Woodruff Street to the north, and Boundary Street to the east.

The former Adminstrative Offices Building occupy a small, rectangular portion of land in the southern corner of the site.

The 1925 former Administrative Offices Building is a three-storeyed stuccoed brick building designed in the interwar Classical revival manner. 

The company had its origins in the mid-nineteenth century. Mr J. Kitchen arrived in Australia in 1856 and together with his three sons established the firm of J. Kitchen and Sons.

Although the Kitchen family began making tallow candles from butchers' scraps in the backyard of their Emerald Hill (South Melbourne) house, they were soon ordered out as a noxious trade.

The company moved its operations to Sandridge – now Port Melbourne – in late 1858 or early 1859, at a site located at the corner of Sandridge and Emerald Hill Roads, now Crockford and Ingles Streets respectively.

After these premises were gutted by fire in 1860 – the first of a number of large fires that were to occur over the years – the company relocated to its 164 Ingles Street site in 1860, within close proximity to the South Melbourne Abattoir on Boundary Road.

Within thirty years, John Kitchen & Sons had become the chief manufacturers of candles and soap in the eastern mainland colonies, making products such as Velvet Soap and Electrine Candles.

Only a restricted, representative section of the General Office Floor has been retained in the development scheme to demonstrate the original appearance of this space, with most of its volume infilled to accommodate apartments.

"While it would desirable to retain more if not all of its original double-height volume, the large, high proportions of this space make it difficult for it to be adapted to a new, economically viable use in its current form," council was told.

The Block Port Melbourne

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