PHOTO: Overcoming his dread of the trade union influence, the Meriton apartment developer, Harry Triguboff has ditched Sydney to try his luck in the Melbourne property market.

Triguboff has bought a serviced apartment site at 140-146 King Street near Southern Cross Station, between Bourke Street and Collins Street.

He will develop a Meriton Suites apartment hotel to replace the three storey building.

The deal, worth about $29 million, will be Meriton’s first development outside of NSW and Queensland, where it has completed about 70,000 apartments over the past six decades. Triguboff recently admitted the recent Sydney apartment boom had over-relied on Chinese foreigners.

The King Street, Melbourne site last sold at $10 million in 2013.

The vacant, three-storey concrete building had been expected to fetch more than $20 million, according to a report by The Age in February.