Buyers bustle for blue-ribbon Brighton

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Buyers’ appetite for well-located retail and commercial property has been evidenced again, with the former premises of blue-ribbon Brighton’s iconic Wild Holly Cakes selling under the hammer for some $400,000 above reserve.

Mark Talbot and James Lockwood of Fitzroys sold 389-391 Bay Street on behalf of the O’Callaghan family that had previously owned and run the local institution.

The property comprises two adjoining buildings over two titles with a combined 444sqm of lettable area, on a 371sqm site with a prominent frontage of 12.2m and rear access.

“Despite being offered with vacant possession, more than 60 enquiries were received from local investors, owner occupiers and developers looking to secure a presence in this rapidly developing part of Bay Street, east of North Brighton train station,” Lockwood said.

Four bidders competed for the prized slice of Brighton in front of more than 100 people, which was knocked down to a private investor with plans to value-add.

The auction campaign represented the first time in more than 45 years the property had been put to the market.

Wild Holly Cakes operated from the site for more than 80 years, having opened in 1937 and served generations of Melburnians that came from across the city to taste its renowned cakes and pastries.

It is located opposite the busy Coles supermarket development, and close to highly regarded tenants including Australia Post, Flight Centre and Palace Cinemas, and a number of popular local businesses and hospitality venues.

Talbot said Brighton was once dominated by the evergreen Church Street retail strip, but demand from investors and owner occupiers to gain a presence in the blue-ribbon suburb has enhanced the reputation of Bay Street and nearby Martin Street.

“The superb fundamentals of an affluent and growing immediate catchment have made a notable impact on one of Melbourne’s most highly regarded locations,” he said.

Local and offshore investors and owner occupiers have been drawn to Brighton retail offerings in big numbers recently.

Talbot and Lockwood recently sold the Bayside Eyecare premises at 150 Martin Street at a sub-3.25% yield following another generational auction campaign.

That followed Fitzroys’ sale of the Smiggle shop a 67 Church Street for $2.41 million, at a 3.2% yield and record retail land rate for the precinct.