Centuria Dips into Canberra Commercial Market


Property fund manager Centuria Capital Group has purchased the “Optus Centre” in Canberra for $35 million from commercial property group Quintessential.

The property, located at 10 Moore Street, is a centrally-located in Civic, the heart of Canberra’s CBD precinct.

Quintessential, who acquired the building in 2014, went on to complete a full regeneration, making it one of the few Civic buildings with a 5-star NABERS energy rating, as well as conducting a successful re-leasing campaign.

The 6-level office building, known as the “Optus Centre”, comprises 6,709sq m of net lettable area on a 1,554sq m site.

Population growth, the lowest unemployment rate in the country and a strong private sector are proving to be the perfect mix in creating demand within Canberra’s office market.

The office market in, which has enjoyed a tightening in vacancy rate to 11 per cent from 13.2 per cent a year ago, headlined by a strong uptake of the city's premium stock.

“Canberra is Australia’s second fastest-growing city, after Melbourne, and this – combined with 10 Moore Street’s central location – was a key factor in our decision to buy,” Centuria head of funds management Jason Huljich said.

“We believe Moore Street will also quickly benefit from significant public and private investments nearby.”

Civic's vacancy rate increased from 10.5 per cent to 12.2 per cent after an injection of new space in the market. Outside the city centre, the rate fell from 13.2 per cent to 10.5 per cent.

The property is also located within the light rail corridor which could potentially increase the value of the holding overtime as demand increases overtime for office accommodation that had a good transport connection within a tightening market.

“Public transport to the area is excellent and Stage 1 of the light rail, currently under construction, will improve links further with a terminus only 100 metres from the building,” Huljich said.

Earlier this month, a private Singapore-based investment firm parted with $62 million to secure a prime Civic office complex, which it is now planning to revitalise with a $50 million facelift.

Finlay Crisp Centre at 1 Constitution Avenue, which includes Customs House, Allara House and the Nara Centre, is fully occupied by ACT and Commonwealth public servants.

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