The long-held Tsindos restaurant site in the city’s Greek quarter has fetched a whopping price.
Seven bidders drove the corner block at 197 Lonsdale St to an $8.1 million result.
The auction delivered a windfall above $2 million over the reserve set by the vendor, who has owned the 136sq m block for almost three decades.
The popular eatery, which has two levels of dining and one level for an office plus storage, has been family owned and operated since 1975.
The buyer was a Taiwanese investor who flew in to inspect the property a day before the June 27 auction.
“The bidding started at $4.5 million and went on for about 30 minutes before ending with a very strong result of $8.1 million,” CBRE agent Julian White said.
A crowd of more than 150 people looked on as three local and four international investors made bids.
The property was expected to fetch between $5.5 million and $6 million with the reserve at the upper end of the range.
“The owner is an elderly gentleman and he was a very happy vendor,” Mr White said.
“It fetched a strong price because there are not many notable CBD retail sites on the market.”
The vendor had been tempted by pre-auction offers in the mid-$5 million range but was persuaded to head to auction because of the limited supply of such properties, listing co-agent Alex Brierley said.
The lease for the restaurant ends in a year with a further three-year option available. The site is coveted, being opposite QV Melbourne and close to Melbourne Central and Emporium.
The result was an indication of the strong demand for quality assets and the limited supply in the CBD, Mr White said.
“We are finding that buyers have to compete aggressively in order to purchase such assets,” Mr White added.
“The market and sellers have been hesitant but, after the state and federal elections, some vendors are getting amazing results and this should see an increase in listings by the end of this year.”
Mr While noted there had been only five sub-$20 million retail property sales in the CBD so far in 2019, compared with 11 in the same period last year.