Vacant Lygon Street shop goes to auction with $2 million plus hopes

A large crowd of eager bidders and onlookers is expected to gather at the corner of Lygon Street and St Phillip Street this Friday when a rare Lygon Street corner property goes to auction in  Melbourne's Italian food heartland.

Property investors and restaurateurs seeking a trophy retail property asset are likely to be among those bidding for the vacant shop and upstairs residence to be auctioned at noon on March 8.

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"We have received over 100 enquiries and sent out around 15 contracts," says Colliers International agent Tom Noonan who is marketing the property alongside colleague Jeremy Gruzewski.

Noonan expects a price in excess of $2 million.

The 70 Lygon Street property stands at on the corner of Lygon and St Phillip Streets. It comprises 226 square metres of space, of which 75 square metres is ground floor retail on a site measuring 230 square metres. 

The second floor has a three-bedroom residence. 

It has stood vacant since being acquired by the owners of DOC Pizza in late 2010. 

The owners had planned to turn it into a restaurant or café but never went ahead with these plans. 

It previously operated as a florist, which is the signage that remains on the building. 

According to RP Data the property was last listed for rent in October 2010 at $75,000 per annum. 

A sale price of $2 million would equate to a yield of around 3.75% if tenanted. 

In October last year, the historic Lygon Street premises of Donati’s Fine Meats sold for $2.89 million at auction, with a private investor paying nearly $1.4 million above pre-auction expectations – a yield of just 2.3% amid “emotionally-driven” bidding. 

Gruzewski and Noonan also marketed the Lygon Street butchery last year. 

“The sale of the Donati’s premises last year represented only the third commercial property to change hands on Lygon Street in the past two and a half years,” says Noonan. 

“The opportunity to be part of the vibrant, popular precinct that is Lygon Street doesn’t come along often, so when it does, interest is high. 

“We are expecting this new listing to attract strong interest from food and beverage retailers keen to be part of the gentrification of this pocket of Melbourne’s northern suburbs. 

“Serious foodies are now venturing into the north, following the lead of quality restaurants and cafes such as Hellenic Republic, Albert Street Food and Wine and Pope Joan.” 

“This is a versatile property suited to an investor, owner-occupier or developer.

“Vacant possession is also beneficial to investors who are looking to lease out the tenancy as it allows for immediate occupation. The location and current configuration would suit a number of tenancy profiles,” says Noonan.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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