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Posted on 03 July 2021

Listed Malaysian investment house and luxury retailer The Hour Glass has picked up the Balenciaga flagship store at 181 Collins Street.

It brings Hour Glass’ Collins Street tab to more than $100 million for the 2020/21 financial year.

Sources suggest the deal was done on a sharp 4 per cent yield which, given the 1.44 million rent, puts the price at around $35 million.

Last year, The Hour Glass, established by Jannie and Henry Tay, paid $68 million for 139 Collins street, tenanted by Louis Vuitton.

While they haven’t told the Singapore Stock Exchange how much they’ve paid for No.181, they have disclosed a write-down of $9.9 million on what they paid for No.139.

The Hour Glass owns other smaller pieces of Collins Street real estate and the high-end Watches of Switzerland chain.

The 181 Collins Street shop, just a 536 square metre shop and basement, was bought by the Smorgon family’s VBS Investments in 2000 for $4.25 million. The levels above were turned into apartments in the late 1990s.

It was the Ralph Lauren flagship store for 20 years but Balenciaga, desperate for a spot on Collins Street, snuck in and picked up the lease before it was renewed.

Balenciaga opened in late 2019 with a 10-year lease.

The deal was negotiated by Vinci Carbone’s Joseph Carbone and Frank Vinci, who declined to comment.