Investors are testing the market for buyer appetite with two sites for sale across North Sydney and the city.
One is the home of celebrity chef Neil Perry's new Jade Temple in the heritage-listed Burns Philp & Co building at 7 Bridge Street, Sydney. It was previously home to Perry's Rockpool Dining group and has a lease to 2023.
The property is expected to attract strong levels of interest due to its high-profile tenancy and the increasing scarcity of prime retail property in the CBD.
Agents advising on the sale of the 490-square-metre site at Lot 2, 7 Bridge Street are Knight Frank’s Andy Hu, in conjunction with JLL’s Steven Tsang and James Aroney, who said prime retail space in Sydney is very tightly held, with only eight to 10 prime retail properties listed on the market each year.
In 2015, a Hong Kong-Australian family paid $8.5 million for the space and are now taking advantage of the strong investor demand for commercial property.
In 2016, Allegra Eurpoean Holdings paid $30 million for the Hunter Street site of Mr Perry's Rockpool Bar & Dining and the Spice Temple, through Colliers International.
Mr Tsang said with the city’s current infrastructure upgrades surrounding the Burns Philp & Co building, it is set to benefit from the development, including the new light rail, George Street pedestrianisation and the underground Sydney Metro Rail.
Across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the first major North Shore land development offering this year has come to the market.
The site on the corner of Campbell Street, 219 Pacific Highway, Gore Hill adjoins leading corporates including Fox Sports, Chief Entertainment, Richard Crookes Construction and the Australian Securities Exchange Data Centre. Spanning 1.2 hectares, the site is expected to realise over $80 million.
Advising the sale are Knight Frank’s director, metropolitan sales, North Shore Arland Domingo and managing director, North Shore Angus Klem with GJS Property director Chris Bailey on behalf of Lindsay Bennelong Developments.
Mr Domingo said the range of development options has the potential to attract a cross-section of occupiers.
He said the recent rezoning at B7 enables a wide range of users and permissible uses, including medical, and has master-plan approval for 56,250 square metres of commercial use.
Mr Bailey said there is a limited supply of large development sites on the Lower North Shore.
“The most recent major commercial development site close to this location was at 45-61 Waterloo Road, which was purchased by John Holland Group,'' Mr Bailey said.
“Together with a largely undersupplied office market and lack of development sites, 219 Pacific Highway represents an outstanding opportunity for development.''
In the latest Property Council office market report it said North Sydney saw an increase in vacancy rate from 6.4 to 7.9 per cent over the period, while Crows Nest/St Leonards recorded a considerable drop and Chatswood vacancy marginally declined.
But the Department of Planning and Environment recently unveiled a 20-year plan for the area, which includes a new metro station for Crows Nest as part of the $20 billion Sydney Metro.
This intends to create a major employment and housing hub on Sydney’s Lower North Shore, running from Macquarie Park to the Sydney CBD.