University Selling Brisbane Office Bldg For A$40mil
AUSTRALIA – Prior to its impending relocation to its new campus, Victoria University is divesting an office tower in King Street in Brisbane in the state of Queensland, reported The Brisbane Times on Wednesday morning (6 April, SGT).
Victoria University is asking as much as A$40 million for a decommissioned 12-storey commercial property at 225 King Street, which it had originally purchased for A$4.8 million in 1995.
Marketing agent Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) revealed that the office building has a net leasable area (NLA) of 6,268 sq m. JLL’s Josh Rutman also noted that it’s uncommon for an entire office building to be offered for sale with vacant possession in Brisbane.
Moreover, the commercial property would be a good “proposition for an office repositioning project in a high-growth precinct.” Its upper floors also have views on 4 sides overlooking the city and Flagstaff Gardens.
Victoria University also partially refurbished the building’s interior with classrooms and laboratories prior to moving out. Notably, the higher learning institution is transferring to the newly completed owned VU City Tower on the intersection of Queen and Little Lonsdale streets.
The Brisbane Times also reported that roughly 350,000 sq m of new office space entered Brisbane’s CBD in 2020 and another 200,000 sq ft of new or refurbished office space were added in 2021. As this occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, it increased the city’s office vacancy level to nearly 12 percent.
Still, fewer new offices are entering the market this year, and most of the new commercial properties are situated in refurbished existing office towers, while Charter Hall’s brand new Wesley Place project at Lonsdale Street is fully pre-committed.
The office sale by Victoria University comes as Australia’s border closures during the virus outbreak severely impacted revenues of learning institutions. In turn, some universities had to divest several office buildings.
In 2021, Swinburne University sold the eight-storey Invicta House in Flinders Street for A$44 million to Swiss fund manager Fidinam Group. Previously, it had bought the commercial property for A$40.7 million
Near the end of 2020, RMIT University also divested its 14-storey office on top of Tivoli Court to Futuro Capital and joint venture partners, Baring Private Equity Asia and Singapore-listed SLB Developments for A$133 million.