A heritage property at 160 Pitt Street has been sold for the first time in 145 years. The Washington H Soul Pattinson building was built for Soul Pattinson in 1885, on the site of the company's first store. It opened in 1872 then was destroyed by fire and later rebuilt in 1877. The property has sold for approximately $100 million to businessman, Victor Comino of Vaucluse. Mr Comino purchased another heritage property in the CBD, buying the 1860, former Darrell Lea store for $26 million in 2015.
The vendor, Washington H Soul Pattinson & Co Ltd (WHSP Ltd), has been listed on the Sydney/Australian stock exchange since1903 after having previously traded as two separate companies Pattinson and Co and Washington H. Soul and Co. Founder, Caleb Soul and his son Washington began at 177 Pitt Street in 1872, only moving premises to 160 Pitt Street after their store was closed due to an outbreak of bubonic plague. Although still operating in the pharmaceutical industry the company has expanded into retail, building materials, natural resources, agriculture and telecommunications.
So too has the Soul Pattinson building been modernised. The refurbishment of the upper levels, including the installation of a lift, was completed early 2004. It was then the subsequent winner of the MBA Excellence in Construction Award for the best restoration of an historic building up to $5 million in 2005.