Firstly, the bad news: The site of the now-closed Dracula’s Cabaret in Melbourne has officially sold.
The building on the corner of Victoria and Cardigan Streets in Carlton, right on the northern edge of the city, was offloaded by the owning Newman family – headed up by stalwart Melbourne showpeople John and the late Tikki Newman – who closed down Dracula’s in December last year after 37 years in operation, citing a struggling market and a large downturn in business.
The building itself, on the market for the first time in 28 years, was offered to potential buyers fitted out with a fully functioning theatre space, an operational commercial kitchen, a rooftop drinking and dining terrace, and a late night drinks license.
Quite obviously, the location of the building alone drew big interest in the property, which was confirmed to have sold for a whopping $10.3million, at a rate of approximately $21,600 per square metre. That sets a new benchmark land rate for the Carlton area.
And while the site does have the potential to be developed into student accommodation or apartments with a new building up to eight storeys in height, the news appears to be slightly less grim than you might fear.
Facilitating real estate agents CBRE confirmed that, while interest from career property developers from both Australia and overseas was particularly high, the eventual winning buyer wound up being a locally-based first-time entrant into the commercial real estate market.
What that means for the future of the building is yet to be determined, but that it didn’t wind up in the hands of an established property developer with known tendencies to bulldoze is cause for at least some hope in the interim period.
Of the sale, the Newman family stated that “It was an emotional farewell to our much loved building. So many people from all over the world have celebrated life milestones at Melbourne’s famous Dracula’s. On behalf of the Newman family I would like to thank the excellent team for a dignified and professional campaign culminating in a solid outcome for all parties.”
The Newman family continues to own and operate a flagship Dracula’s location on the Gold Coast.