Investment Industry News

Wingate JV sells Byron Bay Mercato Shopping Centre for $120m

The Mercato on Byron Bay shopping centre and the adjoining development site comprising of 1.1 hectares of prime real estate has sold as one package to the Panthera Group in a joint venture with Jason Mears of Option Group, the Mustaca and Pelligra families. The group of investors have announced the purchase to take advantage of the thriving lifestyle and holiday centre of Byron Bay.

This recently developed flagship centre is in the heart of the Byron Bay CBD, anchored by Woolworths and Palace Cinemas, is a convenience-based shopping centre supported by a mix of restaurants, non-discretionary and boutique food & beverage tenants that are synonymous with the region.

The investment – 98 – 116 Jonson Street – represents 1.1ha of prime real estate in the heart of Byron Bay and the property was purchased by a family fund headed by the Mustaca & Pelligra Families with Fund Managers Jason Meares of Option Group and Chakyl Camal of Panthera Group.

“The Panthera Group is excited to partner with Jason Mears of Option Fund Management and the Mustaca and Pelligra families in this venture and we are very optimistic about the future of Byron Bay to become the premier national and international tourism and film industry destination, particularly with Australia’s reputation as a safe place to visit and reside during the pandemic”, said Panthera Group CEO, Chakyl Camal.

“Our experience and innovation approaches to all retail platforms coupled with the entertainment, hospitality development experience of the Mustaca and Pelligra families will bring the best outcome for this precinct in Byron Bay for many years into the future”, Camal said.

The seller is a joint venture between Wingate and Azzura. Speaking on behalf of the joint venture, Mark Harrison, Managing Director of Wingate Property, said that the result is a testament to the unique and high-quality nature of the assets.

“The continued expansion of Byron Bay as one of Australia’s most desirable destinations has been well-covered,” said Harrison.

He continued “Wingate partnered with Azzura six years ago to help bring this development to life, as the first commercial development of its type to be approved in Byron Bay. Mercato is now Byron’s largest shopping centre. Both the centre and adjoining development site offer strong future growth and development potential and were marketed as a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity. The result is a very positive one for the JV and for Wingate’s co-investors, and recognises the strength of both the local market and the asset.”

“The demand for non-discretionary-based retail assets with a low risk profile, underpinned by major national retailers, has been a major global trend since the onset of the pandemic,” said Willis.

“Byron Bay holds a depth of market potential of entertainment, dining, hospitality and lifestyle experiences and Mercato on Byron should not exist as an average convenience shopping centre. The Panthera Group aims to foster this modern sustainable precinct by supporting the Byron Bay ethos, preserving the foundations of this iconic location and ensuring the centre’s great potential is not lost within the undifferentiated realm of typical shopping centres,” said Panthera Group CEO, Chakyl Camal.

Selling agent JLL held an international sales process that concluded in March 2021 with several interested parties, with the option of purchasing individually or in one line.
The sale was handled by JLL’s Nick Willis, Jacob Swan and Sam Hatcher.

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