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Stonebridge expands into suburban strip retail

Australian owned commercial real estate group, Stonebridge Property Group (SPG), is growing again with former CBRE Director, Rorey James, together with senior staff Nic Hage and Kate Johnstone recently joining the team.

Stonebridge was founded in 2008 in Sydney by Jonathan Fox, Carl Molony, Phil Gartland and Lincoln Blackledge, and with the addition of a Melbourne office, it now enjoys a national platform, with substantial buyer reach across Australia and Asia.

The team will continue to focus on the suburban strip retail market together with the service station and fast food convenience market, where they were responsible for more than 350 transactions during the past six years, culminating in well over $2 billion in sales. This will be the first time Stonebridge has had a dedicated focus towards the specialised strip retail market since its inception in 2008.

The new partnership will see James join ex-CBRE directors Justin Dowers and Julian White, together with a dedicated and experienced Asia Practice division, headed up by Kevin Tong and Chao Zhang.

“What is most important with regard to growth of the business, is the improvement in our service offering,” said Dowers. “Having worked with Rorey for close to a decade, I know he and his team will only complement the existing retail team, increasing the breadth of assets and clients that we can service with dedicated professionals.”

“Our number one focus will be the clients in each of our respective markets,” said James. “We are in a great position where can service these clients better than ever, with specialised teams set up to allow us to be more focused on each core market.”

He also noted that with just less than half (43%) of those 350 sales mentioned above selling to Asian investors (based locally and offshore), it was a terrific opportunity for his team and his vendors to capitalise on joining a business with the most experienced Asia Practice platform in the country.

“Tong and Zhang have collectively more than 20 years’ experience in dealing with the Asian market, culminating in $3 billion+ of transactions in the past five years” said James. “We are really excited at the opportunities this invaluable experience and expertise will provide for our clients at Stonebridge.”

“We are delighted to welcome James and his team to the Stonebridge fold,” said Phil Gartland, Partner, Stonebridge Sydney. “We have long admired the professionalism, dedication and sales success that they have achieved over many years. We see them as key operatives to allow Stonebridge to diversify our reach across all retail sub-asset classes and price points.”

James noted that within his strip retail investments team, they saw firsthand a noticeable increase in buyer and tenant enquiries in 2020. “COVID-19 has forced us to spend more time at home and within our own country,” he said. “This shift has not gone unnoticed, and it may become a more permanent trend, boding very well for suburban retail generally.”

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