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Bidding frenzy as Les Bubbles building sells for $1.63M at auction

By Aaron Hivon

It was a case of bidding cards, rather than bubbles in the air, as eight registered bidders battled it out for the historic Les Bubbles building at 144 Wickham Terrace.

The iconic Fortitude Valley property sparked a frenzy with 50 bids elevating the starting price of $800,000 to its sale price of $1.63M.

The site of the notorious Bubbles Bath-House, illegal casino and massage parlour at the centre of the Fitzgerald Inquiry, came fully tenanted over two leases with five years remaining on each.

The iconic property, with a net leasable area of 543sq m* and land area of 238sq m* over three levels, was marketed by the Ray White Commercial Gold Coast Commercial Sales duo of Simon Robertson and Brad Merkur.

Mr Robertson said the historical backstory of the asset meant interest and enquiries were strong throughout the campaign.

“There was such a strong buzz around this opportunity and we had more than 50 separate enquiries leading up to the auction,” he said.

“You could sense in the room the registered bidders really appreciated what was on offer, and the fact the final sale price was more than double the opening bid, highlights that.

“The auction came down to the final two with more than half the 50 bids coming from those two bidders alone.”

Mr Merkur said the winning bidder was a Queensland investor who understood how iconic the property was to Fortitude Valley.

“When you think of the Valley, you think of Les Bubbles and most people will know someone who has been there for a meal, a drink or a massage,” he said.

“The property sold well above its reserve and that’s a testament to its iconic status and the history attached to it.

“The lucky winning bidder wanted to take advantage of the $91,246.87 p.a. return and the yield works out to be 5.6 per cent for them.”

The property, best known for its Les Bubbles restaurant, also has a bar on the basement level and massage therapy on the upper level.

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