ASX-listed Garda Property Group has bought an office building in Hawthorn East in Melbourne’s east for $20.1 million and plans to undertake a major refurbishment of the property. 

The 8-10 Cato Street property comprises a 3,800 sqm commercial office spanning two levels, as well as warehouse space and a car park. 

Servier built the property in 2001 and occupied two certificates of title.  

CBRE’s Scott Orchard and Tom Ryan negotiated the sale, which occurred during last year’s Melbourne lockdowns but only settled last month.  

“The structured deal involves relocating Servier’s office to the purchaser’s state-of-the-art building at Botanicca Business Park, Richmond under a new lease,” Orchard said.  

“In essence, creative thinking resulted in a highly successful two-pronged outcome that mitigated a variety of risk factors for the vendor and yielded additional upside for the buyer.”  

Ryan said the sale metrics represented a strong outcome of $6,700 per sqm across the office component of the vacant building, which required substantial refurbishment.  

“The market responded strongly to the property’s rapidly gentrifying location, with the office space positioned to capitalise on rising tenant demand over the short to longer term,” he said.  

Recent Melbourne office deals include Trilogy Funds’ disposal of an office property in Ravenhall for more than $13 million last month.  

In March, Growthpoint Properties purchased a modern office in Hawthorn East for $125 million, while Harbour Group divested an office building in Burwood East for $13 million in February.   

Earlier this year, Singapore-listed Straits Trading Company bought two office buildings in Docklands for $150 million, while Hong Kong-listed Link REIT entered into a $596 million deal with Oxford Properties to invest in an office portfolio including the 567 Collins Street building in Melbourne.   

Rathdrum Properties also bought the eight-level office building at 570 St Kilda Road from Terraplex for $67.6 million, while Irongate Group acquired a stake in a grade-A office building in Cremorne for $130 million.