Coburg Drive-In has exceeded $11 million-plus price expectations to fetch $12.5 million.
One of Victoria’s last remaining drive-in cinemas has been reeled in by a buyer for $12.5 million.
But those involved in the sale of the Coburg Drive-In have been quick to reassure fans its big screens will keep rolling for at least another decade.
Village Roadshow Theatres has sold the 8.17ha Coburg North site to Australian property group Charter Hall, but will lease it back for an initial 10-year term.
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The site at 155 Newlands Rd, Coburg North was sold with a 10-year lease to Village cinemas.
The cinema has been operating since 1965.
Charter Hall managing director and chief executive David Harrison said the big-ticket property would make an “attractive investment” while the company “unlocks potential higher and better use options in the longer term”.
The sale well and truly exceeded initial $11 million-plus price expectations.
Film buffs have been watching blockbusters from the comforts of their cars at the heritage-listed cinema at 155 Newlands Rd since 1965.
The Victorian Heritage Database describes it as historically significant to the state as “one of three (drive-ins) that remain in operation in Victoria out of approximately 60 at the height of drive-in popularity”.
The cinema is “a rare surviving example of a drive-in cinema” in Victoria, according to heritage documents.
Inside the retro diner.
The buyer will accordingly need to get permission from Heritage Victoria to make changes to the site.
It features three screens that, at 33m wide and overlooking a viewing area of 3.6ha, are considered the biggest in the southern hemisphere.
A retro diner, playground and ticket booth famously topped by a yellow vintage car completed the local landmark.
JLL selling agent Tony Iuliano said a mix of “private investors from around Australia, land-bankers and developers, and institutional investors” had expressed interest in the Industrial 1-zoned site after it hit the market in September.
Mr Iuliano said the property represented the last “essentially undeveloped” significant parcel of land in Melbourne’s inner-north, with another drawcard being the “secure income stream” provided by Village’s lease.
The property sprawls over 8.17ha.
Mr Harrison said it offered a “unique mid-ring infill investment opportunity” for Charter Hall.
“Clearly the long 10-year leaseback to Village, with fixed (annual rental increases of) three per cent, provides attractive investment characteristics for our investors and resilient accretive
cashflow while our platform unlocks potential higher and better use options in the longer term,” he said.
Charter Hall is “one of Australia’s leading fully integrated property groups”, with offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, according to its website.
The ASX-listed group states that is has more than $26.4 billion of “high quality, long-leased property across the office, retail, industrial and social infrastructure sectors” and oversees a portfolio of 768 properties.