Singapore-backed Frasers Property Australia and Japan's Sekisui House have cashed in three retail assets in one line at their Central Park project in central Sydney for $174.5 million.
The joint venture partners put the retail component of their $2 billion mixed-use Central Park development located in Chippendale on the Sydney city fringe on the block in April.
The major component of the 14,600sq m offering comprises the five-level Central Park Mall — anchored by a Woolworths supermarket and a Palace Cinemas complex — as well as DUO Retail and Park Lane Retail.
The offerings house a diverse mix of entertainment, fashion and experiential retailers, complemented by an alfresco dining precinct.
The sale of the retail assets, to Fortius Funds Management and SC Capital Partners Group, mark the final divestments for the joint venture partners as it completes its flagship 12-year Central Park development.
“This is a great outcome for Frasers Property, Sekisui House and the Central Park development,” Frasers Property development director Mick Caddey said.
“Central Park is a true destination for people with a diverse mix of interesting shops, convenience options and experiential retailers, in a comfortable green setting beneath one of the world’s most iconic buildings.”
The 225,000sq m development, which has generated more than $1 billion in apartment sales, was built on the historic six-hectare CUB brewery site on Broadway and features vertical gardens, a cantilevered heliostat, public parks, as well as private land designated for public use.
It is comprised of 2,200 residential units, about 20,000sq m of retail, 5,000sq m of commercial space and about 400 hotel rooms.
The sale of Central Park Retail demonstrates that demand for high quality shopping centres in emerging modern residential hubs.
However, the move is in line with a number of high profile retail landlords looking to offload assets before a potential rapid shift in sentiment.
Online shopping is looming larger despite the best efforts of bricks-and-mortar owners and tenants to incentivise customers.
Earlier this year, Vicinity and Stockland flagged around $2 billion in disposals, with the unlisted sector putting up $8 billion in assets for sale.
The value of shopping centre transactions is currently at its lowest level since mid-2017 and the volume of gross lettable area transacted during the month is at the the lowest is has been since mid-2012.
Trying to counteract the slowing sales, landlords are increasingly rebranding their properties into “living centres” and “town centres” offering visitors internet-proof services of beauty and cosmetic salons, office spaces, creches and gyms.