Dairy company Murray Goulburn Co-operative is on the ‘moove’.DAIRY giant Murray Goulburn Co-operative is quietly subletting all 5039 square metres of an Essendon Fields office it committed to occupy just 14 months ago.
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The 62-year-old company, which agreed to move to a former part of the Essendon Airport after being based in Brunswick for more than 30 years, is reportedly seeking another headquarters, again in the inner city.

Its space on the ground, first and second (highest) level of the A-grade glass building on Vaughan Street is now for lease. The office, part of a commercial activity centre that has been taking shape since the early 2000s, is asking about $315 per square metre, per annum in rent.

Chris Goodwin of Goodwin Property Advisory is representing Murray Goulburn.

It is expected Essendon Fields will ultimately include about 130,000 square metres of office space. At present the area encompasses about 30,000 square metres.

The Victorian WorkCover Authority has committed to office space that will be built into the historical home of the Beaufort bombers during World War II.

Council goes shopping

THE Mornington Peninsula Council has paid $5.1 million for the Rosebud Central Shopping Centre – giving itself an enviable adjoining land bank that will allow it to undertake a major town rejuvenation.

Council spent a further $770,000 on another site in Ninth Avenue, off Point Nepean Road and near the retail activity centre of the holiday hamlet, 75 kilometres south of the city.

The shopping centre is expected to make way for the Southern Peninsula Aquatic Centre, which, until a cost estimate blowout recently, was earmarked for a site on the Rosebud foreshore – a plan opposed by environmentalists and many residents.

The Rosebud shopping centre was earmarked for reinvigoration as part of the Rosebud urban design framework. Council describes the properties as of strategic importance to the town.

In Cowes last year, the Bass Coast Council paid $1 million for 16-hectare chunk of a 32-hectare corner block it sold in 1996 for $280,000. A community sports complex is also earmarked for that site.

Retravision sale

RECEIVERS for failed electronic consumable retailer Retravision Southern have recovered about $3.2 million from the sale of that group’s headquarters in Blackburn.

The two-storey, 2457 square metre office and showroom at 194 Whitehorse Road – a major eastern suburbs thoroughfare popular with office and retail users – is understood to have sold to an Asia-based investor this week after passing in at auction in late August. The eventual sale price was about the same quoted for the asset throughout that campaign.

Ironically, two separate signs on the bright blue building together spell ”Retravision administration”. Retravision Southern was placed into voluntary administration in May, a move that subsequently resulted in store closures and business sales nationwide. Many franchised stores became independent retailers.

It has since been revealed Retravision sales revenue and earnings fell by more than 50 per cent for each of three years before it called in receiver KordaMentha.

Jones Lang LaSalle’s Andrew O’Connell and Kosta Filinis declined to comment about the Blackburn property, 17 kilometres from the city.

Apple of the eye

A $17 million, state-of-the-art sorting, grading and packaging facility for apples has been unveiled at Tynong, south-east of Melbourne in the burgeoning Cardinia Shire.

Earmarked for a 10-hectare site at 75 Nine Mile Road, opposite the new Pakenham racetrack, the Nine Mile Fresh project will be funded through a Business Assistance Program grant from the Department of Business and Innovation.

Upon completion in about August 2013, the apple factory will include 50,000 square metres of commercial space, mostly configured as coolrooms and pack houses.

The venture is expected to create opportunities for smaller orchardists wanting to operate in modern premises who have found it hard getting into the supply chain of the major supermarkets.

”The Nine Mile Fresh project will re-organise the currently fragmented supply chain and allow access for up to 50 small orchardists on a contract basis, supporting growers and strengthening the local industry against import apples,” member for Bass Ken Smith said.

About 100 people are expected to work at the facility within five years.

Wing Ching on menu

ONE of the city’s historic retail properties is on the market after a major refurbishment following a fire.

The agent is asking $3.3 million with vacant possession for the former Wing Ching restaurant at 11 Heffernan Lane. The four-level building, constructed in 1891, includes about 440 square metres of lettable area.

Wing Ching is considered the first Chinese eatery in Melbourne to be frequented by Westerners.

Since a fire in late 2010, it has undergone a refit and been reconfigured into two tenancies with separate entrances. The ground and first level form one occupancy, while the upper two levels – used as warehouse space by the restaurants and with a gantry beam for lifting goods that is still visible – is another tenancy.

Shayne Whiteley Real Estate director Shayne Whiteley is the owner and marketing agent.

A couple of years ago, a 110-square-metre block of land neighbouring the Chinatown cafe, part of the original complex and also owned by Mr Whiteley, was listed for sale at $1.69 million. Last year, the entire asset – building and block – was for sale at $5.1 million.

Units near train station

ANOTHER residential apartment project on former commercial land opposite train tracks is to go ahead, this time in Hawthorn East.

Developer Makshaq is understood to have paid about $6 million for a 3288-square-metre block with two street frontages near the Auburn train station. The site was offered with a permit for a seven-level, 116-unit apartment complex, expected to have an end value of about $60 million.

The adjoining sites, known as 10, 12, 12A and 12B Albert Street and 34, 36 and 38 Lilydale Grove together form a battleaxe shape.

Apartments on Lilydale Grove, overlooking the train line, offer valuable northerly light and some form of view security. The complex will also include a retail component at ground level and an underground car park.

Makshaq is the name given to the joint venture consortium of Makland Group and Shaq Developments, who have also developed projects nearby at Glen Iris and Hawthorn. Jones Lang LaSalle’s Matthieu Lucas and Steven Messina sold the Hawthorn East sites.

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