Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Lonely Planet Melbourne headquarters for sale

The owners of the Melbourne property that houses Lonely Planet are advertising to sell the property.

Colliers International, on behalf of Trilogy Capital Group, is currently seeking expressions of interest for the four-level building, which is located in Footscray in Melbourne’s west. The building is approximately 7374 sqm in size and includes warehouse distribution facilities and parking for 86 cars. According to the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), the owners are hoping to sell the property for around $16.4 million, after an attempt to sell the building in 2011 for around $17 million was unsuccessful.

A spokesperson for Lonely Planet told Bookseller+Publisher that any sale will not have immediate implications for the publisher’s operations, as Lonely Planet has a lease on the premises until October 2016. ‘It’s all business as usual for us,’ said the spokesperson.

The spokesperson also confirmed that Lonely Planet is seeking a tenant to sub-lease between 1000 sqm and 1500 sqm of the building’s first level. The publisher is advertising for ‘creative type businesses’ to take on the sub-lease for up to five years. The advertisement lists ‘minimal set-up costs with existing fit-out and furniture’, as well as access to an on-site cafeteria, gym and roof-top terrace, as some of the benefits for potential tenants.

The SMH reports that the space on the first level of the building has become available because of Lonely Planet’s decision in 2011 to relocate its online division to London. As reported by Bookseller+Publisher at the time, as many as 70 jobs were expected to be lost as part of the restructure of the publisher’s web operations.

Lonely Planet has leased the building since 2000 and is paying net rent of $1,638,974 per year, with annual increases of 3.5% built into the lease agreement. Lonely Planet founders Maureen and Tony Wheeler sold their remaining shares in the business in early 2011 and the business is now wholly owned by BBC Worldwide.



Category: Local news