Investors get in on Thornbury's generational pull


The generational shift across Melbourne’s shopping strips and demand for assets across the prized inner-north has seen a local Thornbury food icon sell at a sharp 3.89% yield, the latest along the popular High Street strip to trade at a tight return.

Fitzroys agents Chris James, Ervin Niyaz and Terence Yeh sold 709 High Street in the burgeoning inner northern suburb for $1.3 million to a local investor.

The campaign represented the first time in 44 years the property had been offered to the market, following a long and celebrated association with the Tacconelli family.

The 158sqm site sold with income from dual tenants, which include gourmet French eatery Café Flo on a new five-year lease and food production facility at the rear.

James said five bidders competed for the asset including two phone bidders, highlighting the ongoing buyer appetite for retail property in the region, renowned for its trendy and popular lifestyle and hospitality offering.

“The ongoing gentrification of this corridor has spurred the development of multiple medium and high-density dwellings, creating excellent rental growth potential for the property and generating further demand for retail and food and beverage operators along the strips,” he said.

This year, Fitzroys has sold shop and dwelling assets at 740 High Street at a 3% yield, and more recently 785 High Street at a 2.4% yield. Like 709 High Street, both were sold following fierce competition between multiple bidders.

James said investors were also attracted to 709 High Street by the opportunity to acquire a retail asset regarded as a local icon to generations of Melburnians across the inner north.

The Tacconelli family’s association with 709 High Street began with Pasquale and Pasqualina purchasing an existing milk bar business within the premises in 1972.Their son, Tony, and the family lived on the premises at times.

“Pasquale and Pasqualina slowly introduced a continental flair and expanded retail footprint and produce range to reflect their knowledge and appreciation of foods from Europe,” Tony said.

“Slowly the clientele came to appreciate the delicatessen that filled the space with olive oil stacked to the ceiling and metre-plus lengths of cheese and meats hanging from it.”

In May 1974, the then-landlord recognised the input into the premises and offered the property for sale to Pat and Lina, as they become known to their clients. They continued working on the business and sold it some seven years later, and remained as Landlords. But their affair with the quaint inner Melbourne shop didn’t end there.

Some years later, after several other tenancies, the opportunity arose for one of their sons to transform the business into a cafe, The Chef’s Deli, which was later known as The Luncheonette and run by others for some years.

“Ambitiously, the family re-purchased the business and ran the café while commencing a new business venture wholesaling cakes and baked items from the premises as it is laid out today,” James explained.

“From the Anglo-Australian roots of the milk bar and the rissoles that were once manufactured at 709 High Street, to the Italian-influenced delicatessen café, today’s is French influenced, while Indian-influenced ice-creams are manufactured at the rear.”

Camberwell Junction jumps out to local buyers

Melbourne commercial agents Beller Commercial have sold a brilliant 400sqm commercial space at auction for $2,230,000, a massive $480,000 and equating to approx. $9,450 per sqm.

Over 50 buyer enquiries resulted in 4 bidders going head to head on the prime retail shopfront at 369 Camberwell Rd, Camberwell which offers the opportunity to incorporate one or two tenancies across the office, retail or hospitality space.

With 6 car spaces from right of way, a Beller Commercial spokesperson described the property as one that appealed to both investors and owner occupiers. “This freehold building located in the renowned Camberwell Junction has a sound foundation and an adaptable floorplan to suit a variety of business needs and uses,” the spokesperson said.

“While completely set up and ready for immediate use, the property could be easily updated to modern standards to take advantage of the park views at the rear and continue as an office or be converted to a retail or hospitality destination.”