Merivale has announced that it has purchased its first asset within Melbourne, with the acquisition of Tomasetti House.

The Flinders Lane building is the first acquisition outside of New South Wales for Merivale, and only the second outside of Sydney after the group purchased The Quarterdeck, Narooma, on the NSW South Coast last month.

The CBD freehold was purchased off the Sydney-based Millett family for reportedly more than $40 million, in a discreet transaction handled by HTL Property. The Millett Group purchased the seven-storey building in 2014 for $16.2 million.

Justin Hemmes, CEO of Merivale, said he was eager to be involved in Melbourne’s renowned hospitality scene.

“Melbourne is a very special city, with a unique energy and an inimitable soul. Its local hospitality industry is one of the best in the world; brimming with creative culinary talent and supported by a passionate community of diners. We are honoured to open our first venue in Melbourne, and cannot wait to work alongside so many local industry greats”.

“Melbourne’s CBD has suffered terribly from the hardships of the past year. We are committed to doing everything we can to help reinvigorate the city and support it in its road to recovery.”

HTL Property’s Andrew Jolliffe underscored the significance of Merivale’s first move interstate.

“Properties such as Tomasetti House, and clients such as Justin Hemmes are synonymous with the very vanguard of what is possible when leading purveyors are matched with iconic real estate applications, and as a consumer and marketplace we have collectively borne witness to that heady mix in Sydney for decades.

“Accordingly, we now watch with great expectation the Victorian response to this powerful marriage and do so with high expectations based upon numerous examples of market leading hospitality experiences the Merivale Group promotes.”

Merivale has been looking at expanding into Melbourne for some time now. Last year the group toyed with the idea of launching Merivale at Home into the Melbourne market, but quickly withdrew from those plans after it experienced immediate criticism from local operators who were already suffering extensively from lockdowns. With the hospitality scene now reopened, the industry leaders clearly felt it was the right time and method of moving into the Victorian market.

Hemmes first stated with the acquisition of The Quarterdeck that the pandemic and shutting of borders has really made him appreciate Australian locations on a whole new level, and clearly that’s being translated to the expansion of the group further afield from Sydney.

“I have spent years travelling and being inspired by places from all corners of the globe, but the last twelve months has certainly reinforced that there is simply no place like home. I am energised by Australia’s collective appreciation for our own backyard and am extremely passionate about continuing to invest in an industry that defines so much of our vibrant culture.”

Merivale will take over the reins of Tomasetti House later in the year, and has yet to announce what the concept of the venue will be.

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