Charter Hall take Fragrance Group Collins St site
555 Collins Street property has become a handy barometer for the state of the development market in the Melbourne CBD.
In 2013, the site owner Harry Stamoulis, (who a year earlier paid $38M for the site) submitted a DA for a 400 metre high office tower. Matthew Guy, the then planning minister had modified the site's planning scheme, allowing the massive tower envisaged by Mr Stamoulis to overshadow the Yarra River significantly.
The original proposal had not progressed very much before Mr Stamoulis sold the site to Fragrance in mid-2014 for $78 million.
Fragrance itself, controlled by property tycoon Koh Wee Meng, submitted plans for a 91 storey 302 metre residential tower just before the change of of government in October 2014.
In September 2015, Mr Wynne, the new Planning Minister moved dramatically to put a halt to perceived over-development within the CBD, and the 555 Collin Street proposal was sent back to the drawing board and in 2016, Fragrance Group appointed Knight Frank to sell the site.
With no buyers for it two years ago and Fragrance changed tack again, winning approval for a smaller, residential-only development that it began marketing in the middle of last year. Having pre-sold only 46% of the apartments, Fragrance Group have abandoned plans to develop the site and have now sold it to Charter Hall Prime Office Fund for around $140M.
Charter Hall own the adjoining site at 55 King Street and can combine the two sites to form a 4,620sqm site with capacity for a major office development precinct on Collins St.