Melbourne’s Block Arcade on the market with $100 million price expectations

For the first time in 20 years, the historic Block Arcade on Collins Street in Melbourne’s CBD is being listed for sale.

The arcade was constructed in 1892 after a fire destroyed the site’s original building. Designed to replicate Milan’s Galleria Vittoria, the L-shaped arcade features mosaic-tile flooring, glass skylights, wrought iron features and a large dome. It has an entrance to Collins Street and another to Elizabeth Street, with a third entrance on Block Place.

Selling through Colliers International and Allard Shelton, the Block Arcade houses a number of boutique retailers (including the Hopetoun Tea Rooms, which has remained a tenant since the arcade’s opening in 1982) on the ground floor, with commercial tenants on the upper levels. Anchor tenants currently include Telstra, Haigh’s Chocolates and Crabtree & Evelyn. The property has a net lettable area of 8,124 square metres.

Colliers International managing director of capital markets and investment services John Marasco expects interest from local and international buyers from Asia, Europe and the US.

“The Block Arcade is a blue chip Melbourne CBD investment,” Marasco said. “It also offers a number of exciting value-add opportunities including repositioning the asset to attract luxury retail brands to the precinct.”

Patrick Barnes, director of Allard Shelton, has managed the property for 20 years. He noted the historic significance of the Block Arcade, which is part of Melbourne’s “Golden Mile” heritage walk.

“The Block Arcade has an unprecedented 120-year successful retail trading history and there is a waiting list of tenants trying to secure space in the centre. It is much-loved by Melbournians and has a loyal following of local shoppers,” said Barnes.

“It is also a popular tourist destination for interstate and international tourists, attracting more than 3.5 million visitors during 2013.”

The Block Arcade is expected to achieve a sales price of about $100 million. Offers of interest are being accepted until 4pm on April 3.

This article first appeared on Property Observer.

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