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GPT Wholesale Shopping Centre Fund divests Wollongong Central

GPT Wholesale Shopping Centre Fund has exchanged contracts on the sale of Wollongong Central to Haben Property Fund and the JY Group for $402 million

Haben Property Fund and Hong Kong-based JY Group have acquired a 100% interest in Wollongong Central for $402 million in the largest regional shopping centre sale nationally in more than five years. 

Lachlan MacGillivray, Colliers’ Head of Retail Investment Services, facilitated the transaction on behalf of GPT Wholesale Shopping Centre Fund.

Wollongong Central is a 54,919m2 GLA shopping centre located 85km south-west of the Sydney CBD. The centre occupies a landmark 4.2ha site with long-term, mixed use master planning opportunities (STCA).

“A 100% interest in a regional shopping centre of this scale has not been transacted in more than five years nationally,” MacGillivray said.

“Acquisition opportunities of this scale seldom come to market. While the sub-regional sector was particularly active, we are now seeing renewed investor confidence and purchaser engagement for larger retail assets. The sale of Wollongong Central is a show of strenghth for Australian retail investment in the current climate.”

Wollongong Central caters to a large number of customer segments including local residents, workers, students and tourists

Wollongong is one of Australia’s most exciting and dynamic regional cities and benefited from the recent trends of work flexibility and migration to regions. The high-quality amenities and the city’s vibrant lifestyle are driving population growth.

Wollongong Central caters to a large number of customer segments including local residents, workers, students and tourists, offering diverse retail expenditure catchments.

Wollongong Central presents to a world class standard, having undergone extensive redevelopment and refurbishment with the most recent works completed in 2017. The Centre comprises three main buildings connected by air bridges and subterranean linkages.

“We are very pleased with the acquisition of Wollongong Central, being part of our strategic plan to identify strong retail investments with opportunities for mixed use upside,” Ben Finger, Managing Director of Haben, said. “Wollongong Central is an outstanding centre in a fast growing region which dominates its trade area.

Wollongong Central comprises three main buildings connected by air bridges and subterranean linkages

“Wollongong provides an attractive alternative for professionals and white collar industries within an hour’s drive of the Sydney Airport. Wollongong Central is a landmark investment opportunity within the Wollongong City Centre, which is the major retail, commercial, entertainment and administrative hub of the Illawarra region.

“Major tenants David Jones, Coles and Target provide security of income and a key point of difference to competing centres within the trade area. Wollongong Central is the preeminent destination within the region for nationally recognised brands, with 91% of the GLA being occupied by national or chain tenants.”

Wollongong Central

The GPT Group’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Bob Johnston said the divestment of the asset is consistent with GWSCF’s strategic focus on near-term asset enhancements and longer-term value creation, with mixed-use masterplans progressing for a number of assets within its portfolio.

The sale price is in line with Wollongong Central’s current book value. Settlement of the transaction is expected in December 2021.

About the author

Shopping Centre News

Shopping Centre News (SCN) is in the ‘information business’, and is perceived as such by its readers. Daily industry news makes shoppingcentrenews.com.au a must-visit as part of the morning routine for those who want to keep right across the latest retail developments and events, while SCN's premium magazine is the leading publication for the shopping centre industry in Australia and New Zealand.

Known as the ‘industry bible’ SCN is printed five times a year with fascinating, in-depth features and important critical analysis written by known industry insiders as well as the popular ‘Guns’ reports, which ranks Australian shopping centre performances. Shopping Centre News is the only publication in the world that features centre statistics on Turnover, Turnover per square metre and Specialty Shop turnover per square metre for every major centre in Australia.

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